Gallaudet University Wins its Second Straight NEAC Women's Volleyball Championship after Five-Game Thriller with Penn State Berks

The Gallaudet University Bison celebrate their second straight NEAC women's volleyball championship
The Gallaudet University Bison celebrate their second straight NEAC women's volleyball championship

READING, Pa. – The Gallaudet University Bison won their second straight North Eastern Athletic Conference women’s volleyball championship after defeating the Penn State Berks Nittany Lions in a five-game thriller at Berks Saturday.

Freshman Kali Frowick (Norfolk, Neb.), the NEAC’s first-ever Rookie of the Year and an All-Conference First Team selection, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after compiling 31 kills, 25 digs and three aces in two matches.  She put together 17 kills and 20 digs in the back-and-forth championship match (25-20, 18-25, 25-17, 17-25, 15-6), while junior teammate Ann Whited (Fishers, Ind.) had a match-high 18 kills to go along with 11 digs and senior Paige Johnson (North Richland Hills, Texas) had 14 kills, seven digs and four assists.  Freshman setter Sarah Tubert (Burbank, Calif.) dished out a tournament-best 53 assists.

NEAC Player of the Year Amy Shelton (Birdsboro, Pa.) had 14 kills, seven digs and five blocks (3 solo, 2 assisted) for Berks.  Freshman Kaitlyn Schmeck (Mertztown, Pa.) registered 24 assists and 16 digs.

Gallaudet, the No. 2 seed of the tournament, advanced to the championship match after defeating No. 3 seed SUNY Institute of Technology 3-0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-11) earlier in the day.  Frowick had 14 kills and three aces in the win, while Whited had 11 kills and Tubert recorded 30 assists.

Berks, the top seed and host of the tournament, defeated fifth seeded Keuka 3-1 (25-19, 25-23, 16-25, 25-22) in the semifinals behind 13 kills from both Shelton and freshman Kayla Mosser (Allentown, Pa.). Schmeck had 39 assists, 10 digs and three serve aces.

The Gallaudet Bison will now head to the NCAA Division III Tournament after receiving an automatic qualifying bid.  Their opponent has yet to be determined.

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The North Eastern Athletic Conference has thirteen NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Cazenovia College, College of St. Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania State University - Abington, Pennsylvania State University - Berks, Pennsylvania State University -Harrisburg, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Institute of Technology, SUNY Morrisville State College,  Wells College, and Wilson College.  Associate members are: Hilbert College (M Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse) and Rutgers University - Camden (M Golf).  The North Eastern Athletic Conference has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sports of baseball, women’s lacrosse, and men’s and women’s tennis.