Fresno Pacific Captures Third-Straight NAIA Volleyball National Championship
SIOUX CITY, Iowa - Fresno Pacific (Calif.) capped off a perfect season by winning its third-consecutive NAIA Volleyball National Championship Saturday at the 30th edition of the event presented by the Siouxland Sports Medicine Foundation in the Tyson Events Center/Gateway Arena. The top-seeded Sunbirds swept sixth-seeded Georgetown (Ky.), 25-15, 25-18, 25-12. The Sunbirds finish the season with a 38-0 record, while Georgetown closed out its campaign with a 45-4 mark.
Twenty-five year head coach Dennis Janzen has now guided five of his teams to national glory, winning the title in 1989, 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2009. For his efforts, Janzen was named the NAIA All-Tournament Coach. Saturday's match also marked the fourth consecutive national championship match appearance for Fresno Pacific and the seventh overall in the program's history. The Sunbirds are also the first team since Brigham Young-Hawaii to three-peat as the national champion. Brigham Young-Hawaii won four-straight titles from 1994-97.
Fresno Pacific sophomore outside hitter Martina Gregusova was named the Tachikara Tournament Most Valuable Player and teammate Lisa Shilling, a junior middle blocker, landed a spot on the Tachikara - All-Tournament Team.
Gregusova led the Sunbird attack with 11 kills on 27 swings, hitting .333. Erika Adachi and Emily Carroll teamed together to direct the offense, dishing out 22 and 12 assists, respectively. Defensively it was Mariah Mandelbaum with 16 digs, followed by a dozen from Gregusova and Adachi.
Even though Georgetown's offense was limited, Kristy Hock registered 11 kills on 23 attempts to lead her team's efforts. Amanda Philpot had 20 assists and Amy Barmore had 14 digs.
The Sunbird defense limited Georgetown to a .097 hitting percentage in the match, registering only 29 kills while committing 18 attack errors. On the opposite side, Fresno Pacific closed out the match with 41 kills, hitting .286.
The Tigers were able to take 6-3 lead in the first set, but lost their rhythm and finished the set with a -.024 clip. Fresno Pacific took advantage and would at one point hold a nine-point lead in the first set. In the second stanza, Georgetown was able to move into positive hitting percentage at .226, but fell behind by as many as 10. With the victory in sight, the Sunbirds cruised through the third set, going up by as many as 13 to capture the set and the match.
Freshman setter Philpot and senior outside hitter Janszen represented Georgetown on the Tachikara - All-Tournament Team.
Tachikara - All Tournament Team
Jill Baker, Azusa Pacific University (Calif.)
Fei Shi, California Baptist University
Amber Ridens, Concordia University (Calif.)
Lisa Schilling, Fresno Pacific University (Calif.)
Amanda Philpot, Georgetown College (Ky.)
Erica Janszen, Georgetown College (Ky.)
Whitney Owen, The College of Idaho
Ashley Hamilton, Indiana Institute of Technology
Milica Krsmanovic, Lee University (Tenn.)
Jessica Tjaeen, Morningside College (Iowa)
Randa Hulstein, Northwestern College (Iowa)
Tabitha Henken, Point Loma Nazarene University (Calif.)
Kelsey Pritchard, Taylor University (Ind.)
Arlene Ferriera, University of Texas at Brownsville
Tachikara Tournament Most Valuable Player
Martina Gregusava, Fresno Pacific University (Calif.)
Champions of Character
Lee University (Tenn.)
NAIA All-Tournament Coach
Dennis Janzen, Fresno Pacific University (Calif.)