BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Moravian College is continuing its look back at its 2017-18 athletic campaign. The next event in the Top 10 Exciting Games from the past year selected by the athletic administration is our No. 5 highlight – the women's volleyball team sweeping the final day of the regular season to clinch a berth in the 2017 Landmark Conference Tournament and helping Head Coach Shelley Bauder earn her 500th career victory.
The Greyhounds, who finished the year at 18-15 overall and 3-3 in Landmark Conference action, headed to Towson, Maryland on Saturday, October 28 to face host Goucher College and The Catholic University of America in the final Landmark Conference weekend of the year. The Hounds would defeat the Gophers, 3-1, and earn a 3-2 victory over the Cardinals as Bauder improved to 500-337 in her 25th season at Moravian.
The opening match versus Goucher started with the Gophers winning the first set, 30-28, before the Greyhounds captured the next three games, 25-16, 28-26 and 25-17, to earn the victory. Senior outside hitter Mary Zacher paced the squad with 19 kills and 10 digs while freshman middle hitter Madi Anslow added 11 kills and five blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Brooke Kusmider and junior middle hitter Erin Tiger both had 10 kills in the match with Tiger contributing five blocks.
The final contest of the day and regular season against Catholic would be another back-and-forth match with the Blue and Grey taking the opening set, 25-23. The Cardinals answered with a 25-13 triumph in the second set while Moravian took the third set by the same 25-13 score to move back ahead. Catholic posted a 25-23 set win in the fourth game to force a fifth and deciding set, which would go to the Hounds by a score of 15-5 to clinch the win and postseason berth.
Tiger led the Greyhounds with 23 kills against the Cardinals to go along with nine blocks while Zacher contributed 15 kills and 16 digs. Kusmider added nine kills and seven digs for the Hounds while Anslow posted eight kills and six blocks. Kauffman recorded 49 assists and 12 digs while Markovic had 39 digs. Graduate student middle hitter Jackie Finnegan posted eight blocks in the victory.
Bauder became the 31st active NCAA Division III coach to reach 500 wins including the fourth last season. She is also the third coach on Moravian's staff with 500 career victories as she joined Head Softball Coach John Byrne and Head Women's Basketball Coach Mary Beth Spirk.
"We knew going into the weekend that we would have to win both matches to qualify for conference playoffs," noted Bauder. "The team was a little tight against Goucher but settled down and played well enough to win in four. We had a long break before we played Catholic so we ate and then played one of our favorite group games called Mango. The team came out with great energy and determination and it was one of those back and forth matches with gritty play on both sides of the net. Ultimately it came down to the fifth set to determine which team would qualify for playoffs. I knew there was no way my team and my seniors especially would go down without a fight. Once Jean served five straight points in a row and we were up 8-3 at the switch, our momentum grew and nothing was going to stop us. It was a fantastic finish that brought us back to the playoffs and also gave me my 500th win. It was a remarkable day with many gutsy performances which I'll never forget."
Read the original game story at http://moraviansports.com/sports/wvball/2017-18/releases/20171028ungk4k with links to stats.
The number four highlight in the Top 10 Exciting Games of 2017-18 will be released on Friday, June 22.