Regals Stopped by Eagles in Season-Ending Thriller

The No. 1 California Lutheran University women’s volleyball team fell to the University of Northwestern-St. Paul after five sets in the NCAA Division III Regional Championship game.

The Regals made it all the way to the championship matchup after defeating Concordia-Wisconsin in three straight sets and sweeping Gustavus Adolphus University 3-0 as well.

The Regals started off on top in the first set against the Falcons and carried that lead throughout, closing the set 25-13.  The Violet and Gold continued this momentum going into the last two sets. The Regals handled the second set without a hiccup and took a 25-20 victory. The third set, however, did not come as easily. The Falcons continued to push back on the Regals defense. The Falcons were able to tie the set at 24 but the Regals came back with the set 27-25.

The semi-final matchup between Cal Lutheran and Gustavus Adolphus was just like the Regals’ previous game, they came out strong and took the lead. The Regals found themselves up by just two points midway through 16-14, but were able to hold the Gusties to take the set 25-15.

Believe: The Regals stay together as a team after coming up short in their final contest of this 2016 season Nov. 12. They will look forward to next season in hopes of returning  to the NCAA Division III Regional Tournament. Photo Credit--Eric Duchanin Staff Photographer
Believe: The Regals stay together as a team after coming up short in their final contest of this 2016 season Nov. 12. They will look forward to next season in hopes of returning to the NCAA Division III Regional Tournament.
Photo Credit–Eric Duchanin Staff Photographer

The second set was much like the first with the Regals dominating and taking the set easily 25-12. The Gusties fought back in the third set but the Regals were too much for them in the end. Cal Lutheran was down 23-22 after leading the entire set, but they stayed positive and claimed the match at 25-23.

The Championship game Nov. 12 was the Regals’ toughest matchup this season against the Northwestern Eagles. The Regals lost 3-2 in a hard-fought match

The Regals took the first set 25-17 after starting off strong, taking an early lead and holding it until the end. The second set the Eagles began to fight back. Northwestern was able to tie it up at 13 and the lead began to swing back and forth between the teams. The Eagles ultimately pulled out the set 25-21.

The Eagles took the lead in the third set putting the Regals at the disadvantage, but this didn’t stop them. Cal Lutheran was able to tie it up at 10 and went on a six-point scoring run to take its first lead of the set 16-10. Northwestern didn’t let the lead last for long and they came back and tied the game at 18. The Eagles took the set 25-23.The fourth set was win or go home for the Regals. They fought the Eagles throughout the set and took the victory at 25-23.

The fifth set was tough for both teams. Every point was traded over the net, and neither team held the lead for more than a point. Closer to the 15-point mark, the Regals took a three point lead 12-9. Cal Lutheran only needed three points to win the set but Eagles pushed back on the Regals defense and were able to hold them. A miscommunication between the Regals left the ball in the air with no one under it. The Eagles defeated the reigning National Champions 16-14.

The Regals’ season ended after this loss but they look onto next year in the hopes of returning to Winsconsin to reclaim their National Championship title once again.

Courtney Sooy
Sports Editor