SAVANNAH, Ga. — The Newberry Wolves’ offense could never get on track, as the sixth-seeded team in the Southeast Region was swept by second-seeded Wingate (25-11, 25-17, 25-17) in the regional semifinal match at the Aquatics and Recreation Center on Friday.
Newberry’s historic season comes to an end with an overall record of 19-15. After further research, it was learned that Newberry’s regional quarterfinal win over Flagler on Thursday was the first-ever NCAA Division II Tournament win in volleyball by any school from the state of South Carolina. Wingate moves to 31-2 on the season and its fourth straight regional championship match tomorrow.
The two South Atlantic Conference rivals were meeting for a fourth time this season, and much like the previous three meetings, the Wolves could get little going offensively against the SAC champion Bulldogs. Newberry hit negative for two of three sets and finished the match hitting minus-.027 with 21 kills and 24 errors in 110 attacks.
Wingate, meanwhile, benefitted from a balanced offensive output with 10 kills and 10 digs from SAC Player of the Year Anna Hilton and nine kills apiece from Susie Murach and Shelly Stumpff. Alison Cooke notched 23 assists and seven digs in two sets of action, while Stephanie Tessone added 14 digs. The Bulldogs hit .248 in the match with 42 kills and also collected nine team blocks.
Newberry was led by Amanda Soper’s (Simi Valley, Calif.) six kills, Blair Browning’s (New Lexington, Ohio) 15 assists and Elayni Stokes’ (Houston, Texas) 15 digs.
2012 SEASON MILESTONES AND NOTES
- First win by a South Carolina school in the NCAA Division II National Tournament with 3-1 win over Flagler in regional quarterfinals (Francis Marion and Presbyterian are 0-3, USC Aiken and USC Upstate are 0-2 and Anderson and Lander are 0-1).
- First NCAA win in program history
- Only fourth South Carolina school in all divisions with an NCAA Tournament win (Clemson 4, South Carolina 4, College of Charleston 1, Newberry 1)
- Second consecutive NCAA Tournament berth
- Set school record for South Atlantic Conference wins (10)
- First winning season in SAC play (10-8)
- Tied for most overall wins in Division II era (19)
- Samantha Parrish set single-season (473) and career (1,244) records for kills. Placed second in a season in digs (507) and became first player in school history with over 1,000 kills and digs (1,259) in a career.
- Elayni Stokes set single-season (595) record for digs
- Blair Browning placed second in school history for assists in a career (2,985) and a single season (1,124)