WEST HAVEN, Conn. - The Daemen College women's volleyball team saw their 2018 season come to an end as the third-seeded Wildcats suffered a 3-0 defeat (25-13, 25-16, 25-15) at the hands of sixth-seeded American International College in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division II East Region Championship at Charger Gymnasium on the campus of the University of New Haven.
Daemen, which advanced to NCAA tournament play by winning the program's first-ever East Coast Conference tournament championship last weekend, ends its season with a 21-11 overall record. AIC, which earned an at-large bid after advancing to the final round of the Northeast-10 Conference Championship tournament, improved to 22-11. The Yellow Jackets advance to the regional semifinals Friday when they'll face the winner of today's second quarterfinal match between second-seeded Adelphi University and seventh-seeded Southern Connecticut State University.
Today's quarterfinal round match featured two of the hotter teams in the region. Daemen entered today's match with 19 wins in their last 23 matches, while AIC won 15 of their final 18 matches. It was also a rematch of the 2016 regional finals, a match won by AIC in five sets at Daemen's Lumsden Gymnasium. The Yellow Jackets have now won three straight matches in the all-time series with Daemen.
Daemen's normally explosive offense just never got comfortable today. The Wildcats totaled 28 kills, but committed 22 hitting errors for an .056 hitting percentage today. Conversely, AIC attacked at a .337 clip, racking up 38 kills while committing just eight errors.
Jana Potic, the 2018 NE-10 Player of the Year, and Diva Rivas-Reyes recorded 11 kills apiece to pace AIC. Sophomore Andrea Serra was tough to handle at the net (10 kills) and on serve (match-high five service aces).
Dolores Kopren, the 2018 NE-10 Setter of the Year, notched a match-high 24 assists, and Evelyn Lopez paced the AIC defense with 19 digs.
Allison Post (Windsor, Calif.) registered seven kills to lead Daemen. Sam Logan (Eden, N.Y.), Meghan Ballou (Eden, N.Y.) and Corutney Bernard (Lancaster, Ohio) recorded five kills apiece.
Isa McCaffrey (North Royalton, Ohio) and Georgia Wicker (Woodstock, Ill.) once again split setting duties for the Wildcats. McCaffrey totaled 22 assists, while Wicker notched 10. Ali Greenwood (North Aurora, Ill.) registered a match-high 20 digs.
The loss today evened Daemen's all-time NCAA tournament record at 2-2, and today's match marked the finale for senior defensive specialist Kailey Ballou (Eden, N.Y.). Ballou, who appeared in two sets today, ends her career with 904 total digs in 112 matches. She helped Daemen achieve a 69-53 overall record, two ECC regular season titles, an ECC tournament championship and two NCAA tournament bids over the course of her four-year career.
Despite today's loss, the Wildcats are set to return 12 players in 2019, including first team All-ECC picks McCaffrey and Tirzah Peters (Amherst, N.Y.), as well as two-time second team All-ECC pick Meghan Ballou.
Provided by the Daemen Sports Information Department.