Release courtesy of Rose-Hulman Athletics
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology volleyball team will open the 2018 NCAA Division III Tournament against No. 17 ranked Berry College on Friday at 8 p.m. in Georgia.
Berry will serve as host of the 8-team event that takes place Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The winner of the Berry Regional will advance to the 8-team NCAA Division III National Championship in Pittsburgh from Nov. 15-17.
The winner of the Rose-Hulman/Berry matchup will face either Birmingham Southern or Mary Hardin-Baylor on Saturday at 5 p.m.
Rose-Hulman heads back to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time since 2011 under the direction of first-year head coach Rachel Sellari. The Fightin' Engineers punched their ticket to the NCAA Division III Tournament with a 25-21, 22-25, 25-23, 25-17 victory at Transylvania University on Sunday.
Rose-Hulman stands 19-12 overall and tied a school record with seven HCAC wins and a 7-2 league record this season. Katryna Dahlberg was named HCAC Tournament Most Valuable Player after leading the team in digs during both the semifinal and championship matches. Dahlberg has team-high totals of 644 digs and 44 service aces this season.
Seniors Marissa Gollnick and Bailey MacInnis joined Dahlberg on the all-HCAC Tournament Team. Gollnick ranks second on the team in kills (252), assists (248), digs (318) and blocks. MacInnis is the team leader in kills (322) along with 46 blocks. MacInnis also ranks fourth in Rose-Hulman history with 1,188 career kills.
Other players that appeared in Sunday's HCAC championship match for Rose-Hulman include Gabrielle Gilbertson with 174 digs; Maria Bruner with 124 kills and 104 blocks; Adekite Oladipupo with 242 digs and 54 kills; Mia Styczynski with 105 kills and 56 blocks; Katie Orbeta with 896 assists, 312 digs and 111 kills; Grace Beach with 105 kills and 23 blocks.
Berry is ranked No. 17 nationally in NCAA Division III this season with a 25-3 record. The Vikings won the Southern Athletic Association championship with a 3-set sweep over Birmingham Southern College on Sunday.
Berry and Rose-Hulman have the identical record against three common opponents this season. Both teams defeated Transylvania and Birmingham Southern, and both teams lost to nationally ranked Hope.
The volleyball program becomes just the third women's team in Rose-Hulman history to qualify for the NCAA Division III Tournament multiple times. Both the basketball (2017, '18) and tennis (2011, '17) teams have earned multiple NCAA Division III Tournament bids.