Bears Finish Season With Win Over Utah Valley State, Third Place Finish at Independent Championships
Nov. 14, 2004
OREM, Utah - Senior All-American Erin Deffenbaugh moved into third place in NCAA history in career kills and senior Maggie Ledall joined the Bears' 1000 kill club as the University of Northern Colorado women's volleyball team defeated Utah Valley State 3-1 in their final match at the 2004 Division I Independent Championships. Although the Bears finished with a 5-1 record at the event, they lost out on a tiebreaker to IPFW, the 2004 champions, and South Dakota State to finish third overall.
Deffenbaugh had a season and match-high 27 kills on the night finished her outstanding career with 2,529 kills, one more than Ellen LaFiore of Alabama-Huntsville, moving her into third place. She finished her career as the NCAA's all-time leader in career attacks (6,465) and was 147 kills away from the NCAA's all-time career leader.
Deffenbaugh, arguably the greatest player in UNC history, finished her career with a 100-35 record in 135 career matches.
Ledall also reached a milestone, registering 13 kills to push her career total to 1,011 as she became the 12th player in UNC history to reach the 1,000 kill plateau. She also etched her name into the Bears' record book as the all-time leader in career hitting percentage, finishing her career with a .338 (1011-290-2134) hitting percentage, shattering the previous school record of .327 set by Julie Colville (1986-87). Ledall already owned the school records for hitting percentage in a match (.857) and in a season (.413).
To have a chance to win the D-I Independent Championship, the Bears (25-9) would have had to sweep the Wolverines (11-16) who were playing on their home court. But Utah Valley State came out on fire, hitting .326 in game one and grabbing an early 6-2 lead. The Bears fought back but found themselves down 19-12 but despite scoring 10 of the next 15 points, could get no closer than two, dropping game one 30-24.
The set loss dropped them to third place overall in the tiebreaker, which was total sets lost at the event. IPFW, who also won the championship in 2002, won the tiebreaker.
But without a chance to win the championship title for the second straight year, the Bears did not give up and took care of business, sweeping the Wolverines over the next three sets, winning by scores of 30-26, 30-24 and 30-24.
"In typical fashion, as they have done all year, our players played with a great deal of heart and scrapiness," UNC head coach Ron Alexander said. "Utah Valley came out on fire today and we were resilient and found a way to win with gritty team and good team play."
The third UNC senior, Danelle Angus, had 16 kills to finish out her career, in which she finished No. 5 on the all-time block assists list (298).
Deise Borghetti had 16 kills to lead the Wolverines, while Alina Wallauer had 13 kills and 16 digs.
Deffenbaugh and Ledall were each named to the All-Tournament team.
The Bears finished the season with a 25-9 overall record and are 88-14 in three years under Coach Alexander.
2004 D-I Independent Volleyball All-Tournament Team
Fabiana Souza - IPFW (MVP)
Lindsay Brammer - IPFW
Lindi Bankowski - IPFW
Kristina Martin - South Dakota State
Sarah Simet - South Dakota State
Minette Ridenour - South Dakota State
Fernanda Bastos - Texas A&M Corpus Christi
Cathi Netemeyer - Texas-Pan American
Alina Wallauer - Utah Valley State
Sheila Parrish - North Dakota State
Maggie Ledall - Northern Colorado
Erin Deffenbaugh - Northern Colorado
1. IPFW (5-1)
2. South Dakota State (5-1)
3. Northern Colorado (5-1)
4. North Dakota State
5. Utah Valley State
6. Texas A&M Corpus Christi
7. Texas-Pan American