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Rose-Hulman Tops Earlham, Advances to HCAC Volleyball Title Game

Rose-Hulman Tops Earlham, Advances to HCAC Volleyball Title Game

VIDEO: Postmatch interview (courtesy Transylvania)

PHOTOS (courtesy Transylvania)

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology has advanced to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference volleyball championship game for the second consecutive year after defeating Earlham College in four sets on Saturday afternoon at Transylvania University.

Second-seeded Rose-Hulman battled past third-seeded Earlham in a tightly contested 24-26, 29-27, 25-14, 25-19 match.  Senior Bailey MacInnis led the Fightin' Engineers with 17 kills and added three blocks.  Fellow senior Marissa Gollnick was also in double figures with 11 kills and a team-high 27 assists.  Katie Orbeta contributed 24 assists to the effort.

Katryna Dahlberg led the Fightin' Engineers with 17 digs and six service aces.  Orbeta added three aces.  The Engineer front row was a major factor, with Maria Bruner recording six total blocks, Gollnick added five and Mia Styczynski contributed four.

The Fightin' Engineers look for the second NCAA Division III Tournament appearance in program history in Sunday's 1 p.m. championship match.  Rose-Hulman will face top-seeded Transylvania, which seeks its first NCAA Division III volleyball tournament bid on Sunday.

Rose-Hulman won the 2011 HCAC championship and fell in the 2017 title game.  The Fightin' Engineers have reached the HCAC Tournament championship round under first-year head coach Rachel Sellari.

Sunday's HCAC championship game matches two statistically even teams.  Transylvania stands 15-10 with six losses to nationally ranked teams under first-year head coach Amy Barmore.  Rose-Hulman is 18-12 with losses to five nationally ranked teams.  Transylvania finished 8-1 in HCAC regular season play to Rose-Hulman's 7-2 mark, but the Fightin' Engineers won the regular season battle between the two teams at Hulbert Arena.  Match time is 1 p.m. Sunday.