Nov. 22, 2009
DAYTON, Ohio - Top-seeded Dayton came back from an 0-2 deficit to win its fifth Atlantic 10 Tournament Title over Saint Louis, 3-2 (22-25, 17-25, 25-24, 25-15, 15-7) in front of a national television audience on Sunday evening from the Frericks Center on the campus of the University of Dayton.
After losing the first two sets of the day, Dayton rode 2009 A-10 Player of the Year Lindsay Fletemier in the third set. Fletemier tallied seven of her 16 kills in the fifth set alone as the Flyers pulled out a 25-23 victory.
From there, the Flyers were in total control. UD did not trail at any point during the fourth or fifth sets en route to winning the A-10 Tournament Title for the fifth time over the past seven seasons and the first time under second-year Head Coach Kelly Sheffield.
"We told the team at the break that we need to settle down and make better decisions," Sheffield said. "I think what you saw from then on out was a team executing its game plan. Once we pushed we took the momentum and then had control of the match."
Junior Amanda Cowdrey was named the Most Outstanding Player of the A-10 Tournament after a double-double with 15 kills, 25 digs, three service aces and two blocks.
"We were expecting a long hard match and that is what it was today," Cowdrey said. "Once we got our heads together and focused on our side of the court everything took care of itself. Everyone wanted this bad enough that we had to make it happen in order to achieve our goal of going to the NCAA Tournament and advancing to the Sweet 16."
Fletemier joined Cowdrey on the A-10 All-Tournament Team with a .351 hitting effort and 16 kills to go along with a match-best eight digs.
"This feels so good," Fletemier added. "It was one of our goals. We work hard in the gym every day for this and it happened. We didn't want to leave it in someone else's hands. We wanted to control our own fate this year."
Redshirt freshman Rachel Krabacher had 16 kills and 16 digs of her own while freshman libero Paige Vargas tallied a match-high 31 digs for the Flyers.
Saint Louis was paced by A-10 All-Tournament Team selection Bridget Fonke with 17 kills and 14 digs. Fonke was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Megan Boken and Sammi McCloud. Boken finished with 13 kills and 15 digs while McCloud added 10 kills and 15 digs of her own.
"Even when you are on a losing end of the match like that, it is fun to be a part of the action," 2009 A-10 Coach of the Year Anne Kordes said. "It is great to see that this kind of a match could be the A-10 Final. It was a fitting end for two good teams this season."
With the win, Dayton earned the Atlantic 10's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The 64-team field will be announced on Sunday, November 29 at www.ncaasports.com.
2009 ATLANTIC 10 ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Yun Yi Zhang - Temple
Claire Paskieiwcz - Xavier
Megan Boken - Saint Louis
Sammi McCloud - Saint Louis
Bridget Fonke - Saint Louis
Lindsay Fletemier - Dayton
Amanda Cowdrey - Dayton - MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER