The Carthage College women’s volleyball team survived a tough test Friday night.
The Lady Reds saved their best for last, rallying from a 2-1 deficit in games to beat Illinois Wesleyan 19-25, 25-20, 19-25, 25-18, 15-8 in the semifinals of the NCAA Division III Bloomington Regional tournament at Bloomington, Ill.
Carthage (27-8) advances to play Calvin College (28-3), which beat Millikin 25-17, 25-23, 25-17 earlier Friday in the other semifinal. Calvin was ranked No. 2 in the final American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III poll of the season and Carthage was ranked 17th.
After losing the third game, the Lady Reds began to get stronger at the net, getting 10 kills and posting a hitting percentage of .229 in the fourth game. Wesleyan (23-8), ranked 14th in the poll, went from a .385 hitting percentage in game three to .023 in game four.
In the fifth game, Carthage got out to an early lead and had its best game at the net with 13 kills and just two errors in 25 attacks for a hitting percentage of .440. The Titans had just four kills in 27 attacks (.111).
The Lady Reds had four players with double-digit kills, and Rachael Kisten had a huge match with 20 kills and just three hitting errors in 48 attacks for a .354 hitting percentage. Shannon Kebisek had 15 kills, Megan Behrendt had 12 and Megan Fallert had 10. Behrendt also led the defense with 27 digs.
St. Catherine’s High School graduate Ellie LeCount had 53 set assists and Racine resident Luci Krenzke, a Greenfield graduate, had 26 digs.
Wesleyan, ranked 14th, which was swept 3-0 by Carthage last week in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Tournament, was led by Tyler Brown had 17 kills and Rachel Burkman had 10.
UW-PARKSIDE: The Rangers took Bellarmine to five games before losing 25-22, 23-25, 25-20, 13-25, 15-13 in a Great Lakes Valley Conference match in the DeSimone Gymnasium in Somers.
Lexi Turek had 19 kills to pass 1,000 kills for her career, the first Rangers player since 2005 to pass the 1,000 mark. Rachel Hedman had 18 kills and Leah Fenske had 12 for Parkside (12-17, 7-10 GLVC). Horlick High School graduate Katie Adams had 56 assists and Annie Leo led the defense with 29 digs. Adams has 1,027 assists this season, sixth all-time at Parkside.
Margaret Horihan had 14 kills for Bellarmine (23-7, 13-5).