The University of Missouri–St. Louis volleyball team has earned a berth to the 2010 NCAA Division II Women's Volleyball Championship tournament.

The 2010 University of Missouri–St. Louis volleyball team has had one its best seasons in the program’s history. And it’s not over yet. The Tritons extended their season by earning a berth to the NCAA Division II Women’s Volleyball Championship tournament. For its first tourney match since 1995, the Tritons are scheduled to play conference rival Lewis University (Romeoville, Ill.) at 11 a.m. Friday at the Midwest Regional hosted by Hillsdale (Michigan) College.

The first-round match will mark the third meeting between UMSL and Lewis University Flyers this year. The Tritons swept the Flyers during their regular season match, but lost to it in the Great Lakes Valley Conference last weekend. The Flyers went on to win the tournament. For the rematch, the Tritons and Flyers will face off as the sixth and third seeds, respectively, in the eight-seed regional. The winner will take on the winner between Grand Valley State University (Allendale, Mich.) and Northern (Highland Heights) Kentucky University at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Midwest Regional is one of eight single-elimination regionals that comprise the 64-team tournament. The winner of each regional will advance to the championship finals Dec. 2-4 at Bellarmine University (Louisville, Ky.).

The Tritons and Flyers are two of a record five GLVC teams represented in the regional. Other GLVC teams include fourth-seeded University of Indianapolis, seventh-seeded Northern Kentucky University and eighth-seeded Southern (Evansville) Indiana. This year marks UMSL’s third appearance in the tournament. The 1991 squad also reached the NCAA Regionals.

Going into the 2010 tournament, the Tritons have a record of 20-8. This season, the team also earned its first American Volleyball Coaches Association Division II Top 25 ranking since 1993. The Tritons peaked at No. 19 in the poll, its highest ranking since the 1991 season when the team peaked at No. 14.

UMSL also placed four volleyball players on the All-GLVC teams – tying the university for most represented. Junior middle hitter Weslie Gaff made the All-GLVC First Team, junior right side hitter Erin Higgins and senior libero Carolyn Holstein made the All-GLVC Second Team and junior right side hitter Shelby Crawford made the All-GLVC Third Team. Gaff earned first team honors for the third straight year. Holstein made the second team for a second consecutive year. Higgins earned all-GLVC honors for the second time in her career after being selected to the first team last year. Crawford earned all-GLVC honors for the first time in her career after a breakout season on the right side for the Tritons.

Visit to see the Tritons’ reaction to being selected to the NCAA Division II Women’s Volleyball Championship.

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Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz

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