CINCINNATI, OH – The College of Mount St. Joseph volleyball team turned in an impressive performance and swept No. 2 seed Transylvania, 26-24, 25-19, 29-27, on Sunday afternoon to claim the school's 12th Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament title. The top-seeded Lions (14-14) will advance to the NCAA Division III tournament by virtue of claiming the conference's automatic bid.
Against the Pioneers, junior Bethani Ritter (Cincinnati, Ohio/McAuley) led the way with 11 kills and four digs. Junior Nicole Sherpensky (Cincinnati, Ohio/Northwest) added 11 kills and a .233 hitting percentage in the title match.
Junior Hannah Vanarsdall (Cincinnati, Ohio/McAuley) added nine kills and nine digs, while Janelle Davis (Convoy, Ohio/Wayne Trace) contributed 31 assists and eight digs in the conference championship match.
Mount advanced to Sunday's championship match by defeating No. 4 seed Defiance College 3-0 in the semifinals.
Sherpensky was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player after strong performances throughout the weekend. Joining her on the All-Tournament Team from the Lions was Hannah Vanarsdall and Michelle Woods (Ft. Wright, Ky./Newport Central Catholic).
The remaining members of the all-tournament team consisted of Transylvania's Meghan Bowers (Louisville, Ky./Presentation) and Allegra Guerrettaz (Indianapolis, Ind./Speedway), Defiance's Alexis Pierce (Wauseon, Ohio/H.S.) and Rose-Hulman's Sarah Jensen (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley NW).
Mount St. Joseph will take part in regional play on November 9-11. The Lions will find out their site and opponent Monday morning when the NCAA releases their brackets. The finals will be held November 15-17 at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.
Mount St. Joseph Head Coach Jon Bennett
2012 HCAC All-Tournament Team
Nicole Sherpensky, Mount St. Joseph (MVP)
Michelle Woods, Mount St. Joseph
Hannah Vanarsdall, Mount St. Joseph
Meghan Bowers, Transylvania
Allegra Guerrettaz, Transylvania
Alexis Pierce, Defiance
Sarah Jensen, Rose-Hulman