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Volleyball: 2012 NCAA Midwest Regional NotesNovember 28, 2012
MIDWEST REGIONAL: The Rockhurst Hawks, 28-6, received their seventh invitation to the NCAA Division II Women’s Volleyball Championships. Rockhurst will meet 19th-ranked Indianapolis, 27-7, in a first-round match on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 5 p.m. in the Midwest Regional at the Ruth Lilly Center in Indianapolis, Ind. The Midwest Regional winner will advance to the Division II national quarterfinals, Dec. 6-8, in Pensacola, Fla.
INDIANAPOLIS SERIES: Rockhurst has played Indianapolis 12 times since the two schools started playing each other in 2005. The Greyhounds own a 9-3 lead in the all-time series. The Hawks won the last meeting (3-1) in the semifinals of the GLVC Championship Tournament in Indianapolis on Nov. 17.
GLVC TOURNEY CHAMPS: The Hawks captured their first Great Lakes Valley Tournament championship on Nov. 18 in Indianapolis. The Hawks defeated Lewis (3-1) in the finals of the GLVC Championship. Rockhurst also got past Bellarmine and Indianapolis to advance to the GLVC championship match.
TEAM LEADERS: Freshman middle hitter Kelsey Stratman leads the team in points (435.5) and blocks (162). Freshman outside hitter Katie Loescher is the team leader in kills (376). Junior libero Victoria Mahl has posted a team-high 611 digs. Freshman setter Whitney Kostal tops the team with 1,313 assists.
STAT LEADERS: Four Rockhurst players rank among the top 10 in the GLVC and top 50 in Division II statistically. Emily Ready ranks fourth in the GLVC (1.13 per set) and 39th in Division II in blocks (1.13). Kelsey Stratman is second in the GLVC and 14th in Division II in blocks (1.30 per set). Whitney Kostal ranks fourth in the GLVC and 31st in Division II in assists (10.50 per set). Victoria Mahl is seventh in the GLVC and 47th in Division II in digs (4.89 per set). The Hawks lead the GLVC in blocks (2.70 per set) and opponent hitting percentage (.135).
POSTSEASON HONORS: The American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Midwest Region Team features three Rockhurst players: Kelsey Stratman, Emily Ready and Whitney Kostal. Victoria Mahl earned AVCA All-Region honorable mention honors. Stratman was also named to the Daktronics All-Midwest Region second team. Stratman was the co-Freshman of the Year in the GLVC and grabbed All-GLVC First Team accolades. Stratman, Kostal and Ready received All-GLVC West Division honors.
COACH TRACY RIETZKE: Coach Rietzke was named the GLVC Coach of the Year by his peers. He currently ranks second among NCAA Division II women’s coaches in career victories (1,065) and fifth in all-time winning percentage (.817) among Division II coaches. He also ranks seventh in career victories for all three levels of NCAA women’s coaches. He has guided the Hawks to an 893-182 record (.831) since 1988. Rietzke has also taken 13 teams into national tournament play while competing in the NAIA and NCAA.
NCAA PLAYOFF HISTORY: The Hawks are returning to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2005. Rockhurst reached the regional finals five times between 1998 and 2005. The Hawks fell to top-seeded Grand Valley State in the 2005 NCAA Great Lakes Regional finals. Rockhurst also reached the regional finals in 1998, 1999, 2002 and 2003.