Wittenberg Tops Hiram For 14th NCAC Tournament Championship


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SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - The Wittenberg Tigers put the wraps on the 2008 North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) competition, taking down visiting Hiram in the NCAC Tournament championship match, 3-0. It was Wittenberg's 14th NCAC Tournament title all-time and the Tigers' 11th in the last 12 years.

It was also Wittenberg's second straight conference tourney crown and the sixth time in the last seven years that the Tigers defeated Hiram in the title match. Fifth-ranked Wittenberg, the tournament's No. 1 seed after posting a 16-0 NCAC record, improved to 32-2 overall, while Hiram, which finished third in the NCAC regular season with a mark of 11-5, rounded out the 2008 campaign with a 19-18 overall record.

The set scores of 25-15, 25-14, 25-14 tell the whole story as the Tigers jumped on top early each time and dominated. Hiram posted a negative attack percentage in two of the three sets, in part thanks to a smothering Wittenberg defensive effort that featured seven team blocks, compared to two for the Terriers. That doesn't include Wittenberg's numerous blocks within the flow of play, many of which flustered the Terriers and led indirectly to points scored in other ways.

Many of those points came from a pair of freshmen who may have come of age in recent weeks. Outside hitter Kimmie Dyer (Copley, Ohio/Copley) was tremendous, finishing with seven kills on 17 swings for a .412 attack percentage, while right-side hitter Christine Simpson (Dublin, Ohio/Scioto) tied for team honors with eight kills as she posted a .312 attack percentage.

Senior right-side hitter Jackie Williams (Rocky River, Ohio/Magnificat) shared the lead in kills with eight and led the squad with an attack percentage of .500. Also of note was the play of senior middle hitter Jessica Kimble (Dennison, Ohio/Claymont) with four kills and five blocks, while junior setter Erin Slattery (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston) led the way with 16 assists. She was named NCAC Tournament Most Valuable Player for her tremendous all-around play - she was joined on the all-tournament team by Williams and Simpson.

Hiram was led offensively by Sarah Schoenhagen with five kills, while Kristi Opfer added two blocks. Taylor Summerfield was high in digs with six and assists with nine.

Article courtesy of Wittenberg athletics.

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