CALIFORNIA (Nov. 15) – The No. 16 California University of Pennsylvania volleyball team earned its fifth Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championship in school history and the league’s automatic qualifier for the NCAA Championship Tournament on Saturday following a 3-0 sweep (25-14, 25-22, 25-11) in the PSAC Championship Match against Lock Haven University in Hamer Hall.
The Vulcans set a school record for most wins in a season by improving to 37-1, surpassing the previous mark of 36 by the 1992 team (36-3). Under the direction of first-year head coach Stephanie Burner, Cal U won its second-straight league title and third in four years.
Cal U entered the week as the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Region and with the conference championship will now likely host the Atlantic Regional Tournament next week in Hamer Hall.
Junior All-America setter Renata Silva (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Colegio Ateneu) was named PSAC Tournament MVP after averaging 11.00 assists, 2.20 digs and 1.10 kills per set in three Vulcan victories. In the sweep against the Bald Eagles, she collected 31 assists and five digs. The 5-8 setter entered the week ranked second in the PSAC and No. 22 in the country with 10.77 digs per set.
Senior middle hitter Thais Franca (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Padre Manoel De Paiva) led all players with 10 kills, while freshman middle hitter Bridget Bielich (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) collected eight kills on 12 attacks (.667 hitting percentage). Juniors Ashley Moore (Yorktown, Va./Grafton) and Ludmila Amaral (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Afonso Schimidt) finished with seven and six kills, respectively.
Defensively, junior outside hitter Joanna Nist (Rockwood, Pa./Rockwood) registered a match-high 16 digs with libero Marta Hodge (Fayetteville, Pa./Chambersburg) collecting nine digs.The Vulcans’ schedule in the NCAA Tournament will be announced on Sunday, Nov. 16, with a selection show at 10 p.m. on NCAA.com.