Regional Champions! Aurora Volleyball Advances to NCAA Quarterfinals

Aurora defeated Illinois Wesleyan, 3-1, Sunday to advance to the national quarterfinals of the 2018 NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship.
Aurora defeated Illinois Wesleyan, 3-1, Sunday to advance to the national quarterfinals of the 2018 NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship.

Release courtesy of Aurora University athletics communications

CHICAGO, Ill. --- The Aurora University women's volleyball team can now be forever recognized as NCAA Regional Champions and national quarterfinalists as the Spartans were victorious in the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Regional Championship game at the University of Chicago. The Spartans defeated Illinois Wesleyan University 3-1 (25-14, 22-25, 25-21, 25-17) and now advance to the NCAA Division III Championships in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

THE BASICS:
FINAL SCORE: #5 Aurora University 3, #3 Illinois Wesleyan University 1 (25-14, 22-25, 25-21, 25-17)
LOCATION: Ratner Athletic Center - Chicago, Illinois
RECORDS: Aurora University 26-8 overall; Illinois Wesleyan University 27-6 overall
BOX SCORE: View Here
ATTENDANCE 220
GAME TIME: 1:38
MATCH HIGHLIGHTS: Watch here

BEYOND THE BOX - 

- The 2018 AU women's volleyball program are NCAA Regional Champions!
- With the win, AU advances to the NCAA Women's Volleyball Elite 8 in Pittsburgh, Penn.
- The Spartans are the first NACC women's volleyball team to win a NCAA contest and now advance to the Championship weekend.
- Senior setter Emily Lines was the Chicago Regional Tournament Most Outstanding Player
- Senior outside hitter Katie Vondra was named to the Regional All-Tournament Team.
- Sophomore outside hitter Imani Freeman was named to the Regional All-Tournament Team.


HOW IT HAPPENED - 
- The Spartans came out hot from the start of the opening set, hitting .265 in the set.
- AU grabbed the last lead of the first set at 7-6 and ran away from the Titans.
- AU would win the first set in dominating style, 25-14. Imani Freeman had five kills in the set.
- The second set saw the two teams battle back and forth with each other, with several long rally's.
- The set had six lead changes with AU falling 25-23.
- In the important third set, the Spartans took a lead at 12-11 on a kill by Samantha Weising.
- AU went on to build a good lead and win the set 25-21.
Katie Vondra and Karli Chambers each had seven kills in the set.
- The fourth set had the Spartans leave little doubt with all in attendance who would be winning the Regional Championship.
- AU led throughout and saw the smallest lead be two (9-7) and going on to win 25-18.
- The final point came on one of seven kills from Imani Freeman and the Spartans celebrated.

SPARTAN LEADERS –                                              
KILLS: Imani Freeman (17), Katie Vondra (16) and Karli Chambers (15)
ASSISTS: Emily Lines (48) and Julia Wood (10)
ACES: Emily Lines and Katie Vondra (2)
DIGS: Emily Lines (21), Katie Vondra (18) and Nikki Lofshult (13) 
BLOCKS: Lindsey Simpson (4)
 
UP NEXT:
Next action for the Spartan women's volleyball team comes on Thursday, November 15 in the Elite 8 (quarterfinal round) of the NCAA Division III Championships. Game time and the opponent for the Spartans will be announced Monday with the contest being played at the A.J. Palumbo Center on the campus of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.