NCAC Tournament Preview: Volleyball

NCAC Tournament Preview: Volleyball

The DePauw volleyball team needs a good showing in this weekend's North Coast Athletic Conference tournament to pad their resume for an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament.

Of course, they could also receive the automatic bid for winning the NCAC Tournament -- a tournament that's been won by Wittenberg the past eight years.

But before looking ahead the No. 3 seed Tigers have to handle No. 6 seed Kenyon in the first round at 4 p.m. Friday.

DePauw enters the tournament at 17-10 overall and a 5-3 conference record. Kenyon finished 6-12 this season and 2-6 in the conference. When the two teams met in the regular season at Kenyon, the Tigers won 3-1 (28-26, 27-29, 26-24, 25-18) in a highly contested matchup.

If the Tigers do want to succeed they'll need top play from their seniors. Keely McGrath, who broke the all-time school record in digs earlier this year, leads the team with 566 digs. Setter Faith Rolwes leads the team with 1,000 assists and Lauren Falotico leads the team with 321 kills.

McGrath is second in the conference in digs, while Falotico is fourth in kills and Rolwes is fifth in assists per set (9.43).

Other key players to watch out for are junior Elisabeth Wilson (261 kills), freshman Suzanne Peters (288 kills) and junior Rachael Lenderman (328 digs).

Last year the Tigers, as the No. 2 seed, reached the championship game but fell to Wittenberg 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-19, 25-19).

Other matches Friday include No. 4 Hiram vs. No. 5 Denison, No. 1 Wittenberg vs. No. 8 Allegheny and No. 2 Ohio Wesleyan vs. No. 7 Oberlin.

The remainder of the tournament will be played on Saturday. Semifinal matches play at noon and the championship match takes place at 7 p.m. Consolation matches take place at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

In addition, the NCAC Senior Recognition Ceremony and Announcement of the 2015 All-NCAC Teams will take place immediately following the semifinal matches. All tournament matches will be played at Wittenberg.

TOURNEY NOTES: The tournament winner receives the NCAC's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament ... Wittenberg is the eight-time defending tournament champion and has won 20 NCAC Tournaments overall ... Allegheny follows the Tigers with five tourney championships, including four-straight between 1988-91 ... Kenyon (1986-87) and Ohio Wesleyan (1994, '96) each hold a pair of titles, while Hiram won the title in 2006 and Wooster earned the inaugural tournament championship in 1984 ... Wittenberg cruised through the tournament bracket a year ago, knocking off Wooster in the quarterfinals, Ohio Wesleyan in the semifinals and DePauw in the championship match.