Lady Pioneers finish 5th at Nationals

The Alfred State College volleyball team earned a 5th place tie at the NJCAA Division III National Championships in Rochester, MN.  The Lady Pioneers fell in their first two matches of pool play but rebounded to win their final match.

ASC, was making their first appearance in the National Tournament since 1977, finishes the season with a 36-6 record. 

In their first match of pool play the Blue and Gold lost a hard-fought heartbreaker.  The Lady Pioneers fell 28-30, 22-30, 28-30 to #3 seed Brookhaven (TX) College.

Shannon Jablonski (Cheektowaga) led the way with 30 digs and nine kills while Brianne McMahon (Buffalo/Sweet Home) finished with 11 kills and 23 digs.  Georgia Buchholz (Andover) and Jennie Jerome (Syracuse/Westhill) each finished with eight kills.  Jerome added 16 kills.  Elaina Braun (Waterloo) passed out 30 assists and was credited with seven digs.

In their second pool play match versus #2 seeded Central Lakes College - Brainerd the Lady Pioneers struggled to put everything together and fell in three close games, 25-30, 25-30, 28-30. 

McMahon led the way with 15 kills and 20 blocks while Natalie Gregory (Iroquois) chipped in 17 points and six kills.  Jablonski finished with 12 digs and nine kills, Jerome chipped in eight kills and nine digs, and Buchholz had nine digs.  Braun finished with 32 assists and 12 digs.

Versus #7 Suffolk (NY) CC - Selden, A-State bounced back and won 30-13, 30-23, 30-25.  McMahon had 10 kills and 10 kills while Braun had 31 assists and five kills.  Jerome added 10 digs and nine kills and Jablonski had another solid match with eight digs and seven kills.

Coach Gene Doorley knows that his team was a couple breaks away from making it to the semifinals.  "If we could have gotten the momentum to shift our way early on I think we would have relaxed a little more and played our style.  It took until the third match of the day for us to play the way we have played all year."

"This group of girls have been a pleasure to coach and they have made me proud.  They worked hard from day one and kept improving.  They are a great testament of what student athletes should be."

Central Lakes and Brookhaven advanced to the semifinals from Pool B while Ridgewater College (MN) and Edison (OH) CC advanced in Pool A.