ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The UW-Stevens Point volleyball team (28-8) dispatched of regional host and 12th-ranked St. Thomas (30-5) in straight sets to advance to Saturday's NCAA Tournament Regional Final. UWSP will face the College of Saint Benedict at 7:00 p.m.
Senior April Gehl (Hilbert, Wis./Hilbert) led all players with 17 kills and had another double-double with 11 digs. Junior Ellie Adams (Racine, Wis./William Horlick) also had a double-double with 39 assists and 10 digs.
Emma Peterson (Bloomington, Minn./Thomas Jefferson) had a game-high 25 digs with Mazie Nagel (Stratford, Wis./Stratford) and Kelsie Belfiori (Merrill, Wis./Merrill) also in double figures with 11 and 10 digs, respectively.
Maddie Lawson (West Allis, Wis./Nathan Hale) had five blocks as UWSP totaled 16 on the night. The Pointers held the Tommies to a .112 hitting percentage.
Gehl had three-straight kills to spark a 5-0 run as UWSP took the lead 7-5 in the first set. Gehl again had a kill to break a 12-12 tie and start a 5-2 burst. Megan Lau (Potter, Wis./Hilbert) had a kill in each three-point spurt late as UWSP gained set point. Gehl powered home the set winner in a 25-21 victory.
Lawson served up an ace and Gehl had two kills as part of a 7-1 run to give UWSP a 9-5 lead in the second. Gehl had three kills and combined with Hailey Jarr (Bloomer, Wis./Bloomer) on a block to give the Pointers an 18-12 advantage. Lau had back-to-back kills and UWSP scored four of the final five points to take the second set, 25-20.
Nagel had a kill and served an ace as UWSP put up eight-straight points for an early 8-1 lead. Momentum was clearly in UWSP favor as the Pointers increased their hitting percentage to .302 in a relatively easy 25-16 set win.
The Pointers will close out the weekend on Saturday (Nov. 16) with a 7:00 p.m. match against Saint Benedict in the Regional Final. CSB rallied from a 2-1 deficit to defeat Northwestern (Minn.) in five sets.