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These Red Wolves are charging into the postseason at full speed.
The Indiana University East volleyball team enters the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament Nov. 13 and 14 at Asbury College with momentum on its side.The Red Wolves (27-11) are the No. 1 seed for the nine-team tournament. They won 24 of 25 games in eight matches against KIAC teams this fall. And they're won seven consecutive matches overall.
"We're peaking at just the right time," IU East coach Charlie Brown said. "One of the things we worried about was peaking too early, mentally and physically.
"But what they demonstrated Tuesday night (in a win at the University of Northwestern Ohio in the regular season finale) is we are just now peaking. What I'm seeing is an improved team every time we take the court."
IU East opens the tournament at 4 p.m. Nov. 13 against the winner of the noon match between No. 8 seed St. Louis College of Pharmacy and No. 9 seed Berea College.
The semifinal round starts at 11 a.m. Nov. 14. The championship match is at 4 p.m. Nov. 14.
IU East finished the regular season second in the KIAC in kills per game and attack percentage, and third in digs per game.
Freshman setter Lauren Crump (Indianapolis, Ind./Scecina Memorial High School) leads the league in assists per game with 9.9.
Freshman middle hitter Breezy Strete (Troy, Ohio/Troy High School) is second in the league in kills per game and third in attack percentage.
Freshman outside hitter Brandie Sanders (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike High School) is one of two KIAC players in the league top 10 in attack percentage and digs per game.
"The way we've been playing, the only thing that is going to stop us is ourselves," Brown said. "We have to stay focused and know we can't play down to anybody's level. We have to play to our level."
IU East seeks the school's first volleyball postseason conference title. It would be the second KIAC tournament title for the Red Wolves athletics program. The men's golf team won the KIAC tournament in 2008.
The KIAC tournament champion likely will play in an NAIA Volleyball National Championship Opening Round game Nov. 21. Pairings for the NAIA Volleyball National Championship will be announced Nov. 15.
"We've broken so many records this year and received so many accolades," Brown said. "This is one more milestone, and we want this one. The girls are very focused on what we have to get done.
"And we want to see what would happen at the national level in that first round, see who we would draw and how we would do against that team."
Friday, Nov. 13
(8) St. Louis College of Pharmacy (2-6, 5-15) vs. (9) Berea (0-8, 1-15), noon
(4) Cincinnati Christian (4-4, 12-14) vs. (5) Mountain State (4-4, 16-19), 2 p.m.
(1) Indiana University East (8-0, 27-11) vs. (8/9 Winner), 4 p.m.
(3) Asbury (6-2, 21-12) vs. (6) Midway (3-5, 8-17), 6 p.m.
(2) Indiana University Southeast (7-1, 22-11) vs. (7) Brescia (2-6, 3-19), 8 p.m
Saturday, Nov. 14
CCU or Mountain State vs. IU East or SLCOP/Berea, 11 a.m.
Asbury or Midway vs. IU Southeast or Brescia, 1 p.m.
Semifinal winners, 4 p.m.