SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Its setter, the school’s all-time leader in assists, didn’t finish the game. It had 31 hitting errors. It hit just .176 percent. And its opponent had just 13 hitting errors.
Despite all that, the ninth-ranked Viterbo University volleyball team stuck right with No. 4 Biola. In the end, however, the V-Hawks couldn’t finish, losing 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 23-25, 25-23).
Viterbo setter Brianna Brinkman started the game, but did not finish. She apparently wasn’t injured, but was having some knee pain, so the coaching staff decided to rest her for the next round.
Viterbo (37-8) came into this matchup with its ticket already punched for the round of 12. Sitting Brinkman was, most likely, a precautionary measure, as the V-Hawks will have to play two games over the next two days to win the national title.
Backup setter Ameilia Grahn played exceptionally. She finished with 30 assists – Brinkman had 14 before coming out – leading the V-Hawks to its only win in the match.
NAIA kills leader, Alicia Olson finished with 21 kills. The senior only hit .169 percent, however. Viterbo had 64 kills, but 31 errors and hit .176 as a team. Biola (31-4), on the other hand, had just 13 errors and 52 kills, hitting .252.
Viterbo’s Sara Biermaier had 13 kills and Jennifer Krentz added 34 digs.
This was the second time this season Viterbo played Biola. The first time was back in August, a game Viterbo coach Ryan DeLong didn’t put much stock in, other than they had met before. They did win that matchup, however, 3-2 (25-23,19-25,25-16,14-25,15-7).