Dec. 1, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. - The University of Dayton women's volleyball team overcame a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 win over Pepperdine in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Division I Championships (15-25, 20-25, 25-21, 25-21, 15-9).
"I'm really proud of our team," said head coach Kelly Sheffield. "It didn't start out the way we wanted it to. Pepperdine had a lot of momentum and we couldn't get anything we felt good about. They didn't give up though, we made some adjustments and got more comfortable. We knew it was going to be a heck of a war. We have been in their shoes the last couple years and have lost in five. It feels good to win though."
The Flyers faced Pepperdine for their second meeting this season, but this time, a trip to the second round of the NCAA tournament was on the line.
Shayne Brown led Dayton and had a career night. The junior from Lakewood, Colo. had a career-high 19 kills and hit for a .567 percentage. Samantha Selsky recorded 58 assists and chipped in 17 digs while Janna Krafka had a team-high 27 digs on the night. Rachel Krabacher added a double-double with 23 kills and 18 digs. As a team, the Flyers hit for a .239 mark and held Pepperdine to a .214 percentage.
Pepperdine controlled the match early on and pulled out to a 10-5 lead. The Flyers struggled to get things going defensively, but Dayton was not going to lose its cool. The Waves extended their advantage over the Flyers to seven at 14-7 before UD head coach Kelly Sheffield called a time out.
Dayton was unable to stop the surging Wave offense as Pepperdine hit for a .320 through the midway point in the first set. The No. 13 Flyers trailed 19-11 before another time out was called. The break did little to stop the Waves though as Dayton dropped the first set to Pepperdine, 25-15.
The Flyers fared better to start the second set and was tied with Pepperdine at 6-6 in the early stages. Dayton stayed right there with the Waves throughout the set, and kept the margin under three for the most part. UD even managed to tie the score back up at 13-13, forcing a Pepperdine time out.
The Waves came out of the time out with a 5-2 run and pulled bach ahead of the Flyers by a three-point margin. Dayton's defense was having difficulty consistently stopping the Pepperdine attack. As the second set neared the end, the Flyers found themselves on the wrong end of a 21-16 score.
Dayton narrowed the gap to within three at 23-20 thanks to the strong play of Campbell and Brown. The Flyers fought back valiantly, but fell just short in set No. 2, 25-20. Dayton struggled to get things going offensively and hit for a .152 mark through the first two sets.
The Flyers came out of the locker rooms fired up in the third set and jumped out to a 3-1 lead. Jill Loiars and Brown played well for Dayton and the Flyers kept adding to their lead. Dayton went ahead of the Waves 8-5 in the early stages of the third set.
The defense started to step up for the Flyers with Isolde Hannan and Brown combining for a pair of blocks putting Dayton ahead 13-9 and forcing a Pepperdine time out. Dayton fought off a rallying Wave squad, but Pepperdine managed to tie the score up at 16-16.
The Flyers settled in and were able to take back the lead 20-18 thanks to productive bench play. Dayton kept pushing the tempo and Selsky did a great job of spreading the attack around the court. With a score of 23-19, the Flyers had Pepperdine's back against the wall. In the end, Dayton broke up the sweep with a 25-21 win in set No. 3.
At the start of the fourth set, the Flyers carried the momentum over from the victory in the third and took an early 8-4 advantage. Brown continued to reak havoc on Pepperdine defenders as she approached her career-high kill total. Allyson Morey chipped in a pair of service aces to put Dayton ahead 11-6. Campbell joined in on the ace party and contributed two of her own for a 15-8 Flyer lead.
Pepperdine closed the gap to six at 18-13, but Dayton still controlled the pace of the set. The Flyers fended off a surging Pepperdine attack and stayed one step ahead of the Waves. A consistent onslaught of attacks from Brown and Krabacher wore down the Pepperdine defense as Dayton came out on top in set No. 4. The Flyers managed to tie up the match and force a fifth and deciding set with a 25-21 win.
In the fifth and final set, Pepperdine took the initial lead only to have Dayton erase it quickly. Brown and Selsky combined on the attack while the front line for the Flyers controlled the net. As the teams switched sides, Dayton led Pepperdine, 8-4.
With the momentum in their favor, the Flyers used the four-point margin to keep Pepperdine at bay for the remainder of the fifth set. Dayton completed the comeback, their biggest of the season, and won the match with a 15-9 final set.
"As coach was telling us before the game, we put in so much work that the confidence is there," said Krabacher. "We have to play courageous and stick with it. It is the same focus that we have had the entire year."
The Flyers move their record to 27-4 on the season and marks the 19th straight win for No. 13 Dayton.
In the second round, Dayton will meet the winner of the Oregon/Northern Colorado match, set to take place Friday night at 11 p.m. ET. That match will begin at 11 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 at Matthew Knight Arena.