No. 9 WT takes on No. 1 MSU Denver in the South Central Regional Finals

DENVER, Colorado- No. 9 West Texas A&M (29-4, 16-0 LSC) faces a top 10 showdown in the NCAA South Central Regional Finals when they defeat hosts and No. 1 MSU Denver (30-1, 18-0 RMAC) on Saturday, November 19 with first serve at 6:00 p.m. MT at the Auraria Event Center on the MSU Denver campus in Denver, Colorado.

The tournament winner will receive the South Central Regions bid for the NCAA Elite Eight in Seattle, Washington December 1-3 during the Division II Festival.

LIVE BROADCAST

Live statistics will be available for all seven regional games provided by the MSU Denver Athletic Communications division. All seven volleyball championship games will be streamed on roadrunnersall-access.com.

Game Times/Schedule
Thursday, 11/17
Match 1: 1pm CT – #2 West Texas A&M 3, #7 UT Tyler 0
Game 2: 3:30pm CT – #6 Colorado School of Mines 3, #3 Regis 2
Game 3: 6pm CT -No. 1 MSU Denver 3, No. 8 CSU Pueblo 0
Game 4: 8:30 p.m. CT – #5 Colorado Mesa 3, #4 Dallas Baptist 2

Friday, 11/18
Game 5: 6 p.m. CT – No. 2 West Texas A&M 3, No. 6 Colorado School of Mines 2
Game 6: 8:30 p.m. CT – #1 MSU Denver 3, #5 Colorado Mesa 2

Saturday, November 19th
Game 7: 7 p.m. CT – #1 MSU Denver vs. #2 West Texas A&M

SCOUTING NO. 1 ROAD RUNNER

Top-ranked MSU Denver advanced to the semifinals after beating No. 18 Colorado Mesa in five. The Mavericks led the game 2-0 before the Roadrunners won in straight sets and advanced to the regional finals for the second straight year.

The Roadrunners entered the NCAA Tournament as No. 1 for the second straight season to earn hosting privileges for the regional tournament after finishing the regular season 28-1 and 18-0 in RMAC action. MSUD’s only loss comes from a 3-1 deficit against nationally placed Concordia-St. Paul at the Colorado Premier Challenge in September. MSU Denver is led by seventh-year head coach Jenny Glenn, who has led the Roadrunners to the top of DII volleyball with a 166-39 (.806) overall record, including five straight NCAA tournament appearances.

The Roadrunners’ Rylee Hladky was named the South Central Region’s Player of the Year for the second year in a row after the underdog led the offense through the season. The Gillette, Wyo., junior has amassed 367 kills (3.56/set) to hit .269, along with a team-high 42 serve aces, while Amela Qershia MSUD with 670 assists (6.26/set) set) has overtaken. Ashlyn Cianciulli leads with 478 digs (4.47/set), while Mikayla McClinton and Ember Canty have a combined 201.0 blocks.

THE SERIES

Saturday’s game marks the 25thth Meetings between the two programs, with WT leading the all-time streak 16-8, including 7-7 in Denver and 4-2 in the NCAA tournament.

REGIONAL FINALS 2021

Last season, the Lady Buffs bitterly upset MSU Denver with a five-set nail, advancing into the NCAA DII Elite Eight for the first time since 2013. WT came back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Roadrunners 3-2 (18-25, 23-25, 25-20, 25-18, 15-8), behind Torrey Millers Career-dominant performance. The sophomore became just the eighth lady buff in program history to hit 33 kills in a single match as the brownwood product set a career-high .529 on 51 tries with just six attacking errors along with nine assists and 17 digs for her 15 reachedth Double-double of the season.

HOW WE GET HERE

MSU Denver took top spot and will host the regional tournament, followed by WT, Regis, DBU, Colorado Mesa, Colorado School of Mines, UT Tyler and Colorado State-Pueblo rounding out the eight regional selections.

WT defeated UT Tyler in the first quarterfinal round, while Colorado School of Mines upset Regis in five, MSU Denver defeated CSU Pueblo in three, and Colorado Mesa defeated DBU in five. The semifinals saw two five-set thrillers, in which WT defeated Mines and MSU Denver defeated Colorado Mesa, with the top two seedlings advancing to the finals.

WE HAVE BEEN HERE

The Lady Buffs will air the show on April 29thth Entering Thursday’s NCAA tournament after securing the Lone Star Conference’s automatic bid to be the league’s tournament champion. WT has 14 regional tournament titles, with an overall record of 53-25 during the tournament and 14-3 in the finals.

A REVIEW OF THE SEMIS

After falling behind in the first set, the Lady Buffs came back and defeated the No. 22 Colorado School of Mines Orediggers in five sets (15-25, 26-24, 25-14, 24-26, 15-13). WT hit .247 in a five-set win with 71 kills on 178 tries with 27 errors, plus 84 digs, 67 assists, eight blocks and four aces on serve. Junior Torrey Miller and seniors Kayla Elliott combined for 35 kills, with Elliott hitting .429 with just two penalties on 35 swings to go along with a match high of five blocks. Blair Moreland led offense with 30 assists in the game, followed by Ainsley Malis with 25, while Bryli Contreras had 23 backline tackles. Abi Nash had 14 kills on the night with 10 digs for the double-double while Miller joined with 10 digs for her 10th Double-double of the season.

WT HEAD COACH KENDRA POTTS
Kendra Potts is in her fourth season at the top of Lady Buff Volleyball with an overall record of 86-20 (.896) and 53-10 (.841) in league play. Potts led the program to its second straight LSC tournament title and second under Potts, including the Lady Buffs 17th unbeaten league schedule with a perfect 16-0 record. She introduced her alma mater to her 14th birthdayth NCAA Elite Eight Appears after winning the South Central Regional title last season to become the sixth head coach in program history to lead WT to the Elite Eight.

MAKE A DOUBLE DOUBLE

Four players have recorded double-doubles this season Abi Nash, Torrey MillerAinsley Malis and Blair Moreland 17 in total. Torrey Miller leads the category with nine in the season, which includes 147 kills and 118 digs. Malis is second with six, followed by Nash and Moreland with one each.

ADD TO CV
Torrey Miller and Taytum Stow were named to the D2CCA First Team All-Region selection Thursday night. WT was the only South Central Region school where two players received First Team honors.

LSC Tournament MVP Miller was named First Team All-Region for a second straight season after helping the Lady Buffs to their second straight LSC regular season and tournament title. The junior, from Brownwood, Texas, ranked fifth among DII’s active career leaders during her time at WT with 4.02 kills per set, while ranked eighth with 1,511 kills overall, which ranks WT fifth all-time .

Stow, a freshman from Hereford, Texas, made an instant impression for the lady buffs at net in her collegiate debut with 119.0 total blocks. She leads the LSC in blocks per set with 1.23, which ranks ninth in DII while she is 30thth in total blocks. Stow led Lady Buff’s offense in the regional quarterfinals with 10 kills and five blocks.

THE PAYMENT

WT bats .262 as a team finishing second and 16th in the Lone Star Conferenceth in Division II while ranking eighth in the nation in blocks per set (2.50), 17th in kills per set (13.99), 18th in Opponent’s Hit Rate (0.133), 17thth assists per set (12.83) and 13th in total blocks (260.0)

In the individual races, Taytum Stow ranks ninth in DII (1.23) and 29th in blocks per setth total blocks (114.0) during Torrey Miller is 27th in points per set (4.41) and 35th in kills per set (3.76).

IN THE POLLS

RMAC Champions MSU Denver leads the national rankings with a 28-1 aggregate record, followed by Wayne State (29-2), Concordia-St. Paul (26-5), Alaskan Anchorage (27-2) and Tampa (27-3). Other programs from the South Central Region represented in the standings include WT (9thth), Regis (14th), Colorado Mesa (18th) and Colorado School of Mines (22nd).

THE LSC SHIP

The Lady Buffs swept to 17th place on the programth Lone Star Conference Tournament title after defeating 2nd seed DBU Patriots. WT won nine straight sets during the tournament Kayla Elliott, Abi Nash and Torrey Miller was named to the All-Tournament Team, while Miller was named Tournament MVP.

WT .348 in the championship game with 43 kills on 92 tries with 11 errors, plus 39 digs, 39 assists, eight blocks and six aces serve, while DBU had 39 kills on 103 swings with 17 errors to .214 with 36 digs to hit , 37 assists, six blocks and three aces.

miller led the Lady Buffs with 11 kills on 25 attempts to hit .320. Ainsley Malis accelerated the offensive with 18 assists Blair Moreland had a match high with two aces. Bryli Contreras registered 13 digs to lead the back row, while Emma Becker and Taytum Stow each produced four blocks.

FOLLOW THE LADY BUFFS

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