Written by Andrew Ottoson Tuesday, 14 November 2006 18:00With a pair of decisive victories over McPherson College and Bethel College in the conference tournament, the Tabor College volleyball team won the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference postseason tournament championship last week.
Behind tough serving by Lindsey Vogts and Ashley Malcom, the Bluejays jumped to big leads in all three games against McPherson on Thursday.
In Game 2, the Bulldogs rallied from a 7-2 deficit to knot the game at 27-27, but Staci Frick gave the home team a 2-point advantage and Tabor took the game 30-28.
On Saturday, Tabor swept past Bethel in three games (30-26, 30-28, 30-15), avenging two regular-season losses by bouncing the Threshers from the playoffs and winning both the regular-season and tournament titles.
"Bethel is a great team," coach Amy Ratzlaff said. "I felt very fortunate to be able to play them in the finals, because it made our team have to dig down deep and find ways to be a better team than we've been before.
"It was great to beat them the way that we did. It made it a lot of fun to play."
Frick's 4.3 kills per game for the week powered the team to an average of 15.7 kills per game in post-season play.
Vogts averaged 3.5 kills and her attack rating soared near 45 percent.
Malcom averaged 3.2 kills and 4.7 digs per game for the week.
Kelsi Suderman averaged 1.0 blocks per game and 3.0 kills per game.
Audrey Schellenberg totaled 80 assists in six games and Traci Neufeld averaged 2.7 digs per game.
Schellenberg, Neufeld and Frick each had three aces for the week, and Frick added 4.5 digs and 0.5 blocks per game to her offensive statistics.
"We had a great week," Ratzlaff said. "Playing great offensively leaves you feeling like you're playing aggressively, and that's a good feeling going into a regional tournament."
Frick and Vogts were unanimous first-team all-KCAC selections. Frick has been selected for the honor in four consecutive years.
Suderman and Malcom were second-team selections, and Ratzlaff outlined a strong case that both Schellenberg and Neufeld should have been all-conference selections.
"Traci Neufeld is in the top 10 in three different statistical categories, Audrey Schellenberg is the No. 2 setter in the conference," Ratzlaff said. "I think that merits their inclusion in the KCAC top 24.
"We have a balanced team of women that contribute all the way around," Ratzlaff said.
Moving on to the regional tournament presents a fresh challenge for the Bluejays-playing as a slight underdog will push the team to continue to raise its level of play.
"We want to find ways to make all our hitters effective, not just one or two players...to make sure players are available to hit in transition," Ratzlaff said.
Ranked fifth regionally, the Blujays will meet fourth-ranked College of the Ozarks in a 1 p.m. match on Thursday in Omaha, Neb.