AURORA, Ill. (naccsports.org) --- Aurora University posted a 25-22, 25-16, 25-21 sweep over Concordia University Wisconsin Saturday evening at Thornton Gymnasium to successfully defend its Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Women's Volleyball Tournament crown.
The Spartans (23-10), which entered the tournament as the top seed after sharing the regular-season title with CUW and Lakeland, won a tightly-contested first set by a 25-22 score, then sprinted out to a 6-0 lead in the second set. Aurora extended the lead to 15-6 in the second set, eventually closing out the frame by a 25-16 score.
The third set opened relatively evenly. Aurora eventually pushed out to a 15-12 advantage to force a Falcon timeout. Concordia Wisconsin (22-9) rallied to move in front by a 19-18 score, prompting a timeout from the Spartans. Aurora captured seven of the final nine points to close out the match.
Aurora's Karli Chambers finished with a match-high 15 kills against just two errors in 34 total attacks for a .384 hitting percentage. NACC Player and Freshman of the Year Sydnei Avery added 11 kills. Defensively, NACC Defensive Player of the Year Julia Wood posted a team-high 19 digs, while Makayla Fincher had 12 digs and two aces, and Miranda Cada posted a 39-assist, 11-dig double-double.
Sophia Collins led CUW with eight kills, while Ariana Richmond added a match-high 22 assists.
With the victory, the Spartans claim the NACC's automatic berth in the 2019 NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship. The full field will be announced at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11 via a selection show at NCAA.com.