ALLIANCE, Ohio – Heidelberg University's volleyball has spent much of the 2012 season in the nationwide Top 25 poll and the regional rankings. After falling to Mount Union in the semifinals of the Ohio Athletic Conference tournament on Friday, the Student Princes will have to wait for the NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament Selection Show on Monday to find out if their season will continue.
The fifth-seeded Student Princes (19-14) never seemed to get into an offensive rhythm against the top-seeded Purple Raiders. Mount Union swept Heidelberg 3-0, 25-15 25-19 27-25.
In the first set, Mount Union raced out to a 16-8 lead and won easily. Another quick start for Mount Union in the second set was too much for Heidelberg to overcome, despite a late rally.
Trailing 16-12 with their backs against the wall in the third set, Heidelberg went on a 10-3 run and took a 22-19 lead. Mount Union successfully halted the Student Prince momentum with a timeout. When play resumed, Mount Union took the next three points to tie the match. The teams would battle back and forth until Mount Union escaped with a 27-25 win.
In what could be their final match, Heidelberg's three seniors led the offense. Jacki Street (Grafton/Midview) led Heidelberg with 11 kills, followed by Marian Bevington (Celina/Parkway), who had 10 kills. Setter Rachel Ferguson (Brighton, MI) had 19 assists for the match.
Tessa Benanzer (Fort Loramie) had 14 digs, while Ferguson notched 11 digs.
Mount Union will face the second-seeded Otterbein in the OAC Championship on Saturday. As per OAC rule, Mount Union has already locked up the OAC's automatic entry into the NCAA tournament by advancing to the championship match.
Heidelberg's fate is in the hands of the selection committee. On the season, Heidelberg finished 3-9 against regionally ranked opponents.
The NCAA Selection Show will air online at 11 a.m. on Monday.