Deffenbaugh Sets NCAA Attacks Record in Sweep of Utah Valley State
Nov. 6, 2004
GREELEY, Colo. - Senior All-American Erin Deffenbaugh set the NCAA record for career attacks and added 22 kills in only three sets to move into sixth place in NCAA history as the University of Northern Colorado women's volleyball team swept by Utah Valley State on Senior Night in front of the fifth largest crowd in Butler-Hancock Hall history by scores of 30-18, 30-28 and 30-20.
Those 1,065 fans came to pay tribute to the trio of seniors, Deffenbaugh, Danelle Angus and Maggie Ledall, as the group played the final home match of their careers. In the process the crowd saw UNC extend its home-court winning streak to 29 matches, the second longest current streak in the country (trailing only Hawaii), and saw UNC (20-8) win its 20th match of the season, the 22nd time in school history (in 29 total seasons) they have reached that plateau.
The Bears beat fellow Division I Independent Utah Valley State (9-12) for the fifth time in as many matches over the past two seasons and for the second time in as many weeks; UNC won 3-2 in Orem last Wednesday.
"We take a lot of pride in the winning streak at home and I'm glad the seniors went out with a win," UNC head coach Ron Alexander said after the match. "The neat thing is that they are all great people and have truly invested into our program. They've also taught the younger kids what it means to be a better player."
After a nip-and-tuck match last week the Bears came out with plenty of fire on the emotional Senior Night. Following several pre-match ceremonies where the seniors were honored and the team received their championship rings for winning last season's Division I Independent Championship, UNC came out hot and built a 15-6 lead early in game one. That lead grew to 20-9 on the way to the 30-18 win.
Utah Valley State was able to keep game two closer, leading as late as 18-17. But the senior Angus had a kill to even the set and inserted another kill in-between a pair of Wolverine attack errors as UNC built a 21-18 advantage. UVSC pulled within one at 29-28 but Angus ended the set with a kill and put the Bears up 2-0.
Game three was much the same as game one, as the Bears jumped out to a 9-4 lead, forcing Utah Valley to call a timeout. Wolverine coach Sam Atoa had to spend his second timeout when UNC forged ahead by a 17-11 margin, and although UVSC got within four points at 21-17, the Bears scored nine of the final 12 points of the match to win in convincing fashion.
Deffenbaugh put on a show, registering 22 kills on 40 swings in the short three sets. She hit at a .525 (22-1-40) clip for the night and added 14 digs. She increased her career kills total to 2,410, only one out of fifth place in NCAA history. With six matches remaining this season, she has a realistic shot at ranking No. 3 in NCAA history at the end of her career.
Her career attacks total moved to 6,126, more than any other player has ever recorded at the Division II level (although the Bears now play at the D-I level, her stats are grandfathered into the D-II level). She hit .500 or better for the 10th time in her career and has hit .300 or better in 57 of her 129 career matches.
"It is definitely bittersweet," Deffenbaugh said after the match. "I have been a part of the program for the past five years and now I'll never play another match here again."
Ledall added nine kills, five assists, six digs and three blocks in her final home match while Angus had seven kills and three blocks.
Senior Deise Borghetti led Utah Valley with 16 kills while Alina Wallauer and Maegan Hoyt had 12 digs apiece.
The Bears close out their 2004 season next Thursday-Saturday at the D-I Independent Championships on the campus of Utah Valley State in Orem. The Bears are the defending champions and will play six matches in the three days, beginning with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. Northern Colorado is 8-1 this season against D-I Independents and have beaten every team that will compete at the tournament at least once this season, except for IPFW, a team that have yet to play in 2004.
Match Notes: The Bears improved to 259-48 all-time at home and have not lost a match there since the 2001 season; they are 48-3 at Butler-Hancock since the 1999 season and will need to win four home matches in a row at the beginning of next season to tie the school record of 33 straight match victories ... the Bears have also won 41 of their last 42 matches played in the state of Colorado ... the sweep was the 54th over the three years of the Alexander Era at Northern Colorado; Alexander's career record improved to 83-13 ... Maggie Ledall increased her career kills total to 950, and needs 50 kills over the final six matches to become the 12th member of the UNC 1,000 kill club; her .336 (950-272-2018) career hitting percentage currently ranks No. 1 in school history ... the crowd was the largest since 1,376 fans saw the Bears defeat South Dakota State for the North Central Regional Championship on Nov. 23, 2002.