SAVANNAH, Ga. — The sixth-seeded Newberry Wolves upended the defending NCAA Division II Southeast Region champion Flagler Saints 3-1 (14-25, 25-14, 25-22, 25-23) in first round action at the 2012 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional on Thursday afternoon.
Newberry (19-14) earns its first NCAA region win in only its second trip to the postseason and also avenges a 3-0 loss to the Saints (22-11) that came in the first round of last year’s regional. The win is Newberry’s first over Flagler in four tries all-time.
The Wolves advance to play the winner of second-seeded Wingate and seventh-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne in the region semifinal match at 5 p.m. Friday.
Newberry struggled in the first set, as Flagler hit .233 in taking a relatively easy 25-14 first set win from the Wolves. Newberry hit minus-.033 in the set with no player notching more than two kills.
The Wolves flipped the script in the second set by hitting .333 in evening the match at one set apiece. Samantha Parrish (Angola, Ind.) had six kills in the set.
Parrish turned the heat up in the third set for the Wolves, registering nine kills in leading Newberry to the third set win.
In the fourth set, with the score tied at 23-all, a kill from Lauren Prachar (Fort Wayne, Ind.) gave the Wolves set point, then a block by Jessica King (Los Angeles, Calif.) on match point sent Newberry through to the semifinals. In the final set, Prachar had six kills without an error, while King had five errorless kills.
Parrish finished the afternoon with a match-high 18 kills as well as a team-high 18 digs for Newberry. Prachar collected 13 kills and King added 12 kills and three blocks, hitting .200. Blair Browning (New Lexington, Ohio) tallied 48 assists as well for the Wolves.
Flagler was led by Dianna Craine, who hit .292 with a team-high 17 kills to go with 14 digs. Libero Casey Gnann tallied a match-high 27 digs and Amelia Morgan notched 44 assists.