Volleyball Team Set for the KIAC Tournament
KIAC Championship Tournament – November 15 & 16 | Midway College
Friday, Nov. 15, 4 p.m. - No. 1 Asbury vs. Winner of No. 8 CCU/No. 9 Carlow
Saturday, Nov. 16, 10 a.m. – Tournament Semifinals
Saturday, Nov. 16, 2 p.m. – Championship game
WILMORE, Ky. – The Eagles are getting ready to face off against the winner of the Cincinnati Christian-Carlow game in the KIAC Quarterfinals after an opening round bye on Friday. Game time is set for 4 p.m.
Scouting the Eagles
The top-seeded Eagles come into the conference tournament torching through the end of their season. They have won 16 in-a-row dating back to a 3-0 loss to Lindsey Wilson on Oct. 3. They finished the regular season as the regular season champions in the KIAC with a 10-1 record—already garnering an automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament set to begin with the opening round on November 23.
But that isn’t going to keep coach JP Rader and his team from wanting to capture the KIAC Tournament crown either.
This season Asbury is averaging 12.6 kills per set and are hitting with a 0.263 percentage largely in part to their big-3 attacking core. Sarah Sterling, Catherine Wolter, and Allison Rehner have combined for 1125 kills this season—nine per set—and a hitting percentage of .303. Sterling ranks 23rd in total kills and 38th in hitting percentage (0.327) in the NAIA.
The Eagles’ attacking core is getting significant help from the setting duo of Mackenzie Burke and Jessie Bartlow. The tandem’s 11.0 assists per game has provided their hitters with the opportunities to garner crucial points throughout the season.
On the defensive side of the court the Eagles are just as impressive. Senior libero Kelly Cole ranks in the top-ten in digs per set (5.8) and total digs (713).
As a whole the Eagles are very good statistically. They rank in the top-50 for 10 statistical categories, with their highest ranking coming by way of service aces. Mackenzie Burke leads the Eagles on that front with her 63—just under a fourth of the team total of 253 which is ninth best in the nation.
The Eagles will look to continue those numbers in search of the KIAC Championship.
Scouting the Field
IU-East finished right behind the Eagles in the regular season with a record of 9-2 in conference play. They garnered the second seed for the tournament and would only get a shot back at the Eagles in the Championship game.
The three seed went to first year program IU-Kokomo, a team the Eagles beat twice this season. The Cougars finished their season at 28-10 overall and went 8-3 in the KIAC regular season.
Following the Cougars—in order by seed—are IU-Southeast, Point Park (the only conference team to have the Eagles’ number this season), and Berea to round out the top six teams. The top six seeds were the only teams to turn in a winning record in conference play.
KIAC Tournament Schedule
The opening round of the tournament is set to begin at 10 a.m., Friday with Midway facing off against STLCOP and Cincinnati Christian taking on Carlow. The round will continue with Brescia-Berea and Point Park-Alice Lloyd at 1:30 p.m.
The tournament continues at 4 p.m. with the quarterfinal round where all the teams with byes will get a shot at some action, facing the winners of the first round.
For a look at the tournament bracket click here.
For more information on the KIAC Tournament go to KIACsports.com. For more on Asbury athletics and to stay up on all of the action follow the Eagles on Twitter (@Asbury_Eagles) or on Facebook (Asbury Eagles).