Grand Rapids, Mich. - DePauw put together a fierce third-set rally, but it fell short as Wittenberg topped the Tigers 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 28-26) in the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship. DePauw ended its season at 18-11, while Wittenberg improved to 25-2 and advanced to the regional championship.
DePauw trailed Wittenberg 21-16 in the opening set, but scored five straight including three kills from Suzanne Peters and another from Morgan Stearley. Wittenberg, however, took four of the final five points to win the set.
Wittenberg got out to a 7-1 lead in the second and DePauw got no closer than four the rest of the way. DePauw trailed by as many as four in the third set with the last time coming at 16-12. The Tigers eventually evened the score at 19-19 before Wittenberg regained the lead at 20-19. DePauw won four straight points and later had two set points, but Wittenberg scored three straight to take a 25-24 advantage. This time it was DePauw fighting off a pair of match points, but Kennedey Schmidt's two kills ended the match.
Peters led DePauw with 17 kills, while Stearley added 12, but Wittenberg held a 52-42 advantage as Aubrey Cox led with 18. Wittenberg also outhit the Tigers, .206-.171. Ally Low assisted on 34 of those DePauw kills, while Karen Wildemann had 41 for Wittenberg. Cox had three of Wittenberg's seven aces with Peters and Kaylee Nichols each totaling one.
Peters, Stearley, Nichols and Jenna Purichia had 16 digs apiece for DePauw with Taylor Yontz leading Wittenberg with 19 as each team had 78.
Wittenberg held an 11.0-7.0 edge in blocks. Cox totaled six for DePauw and Meaghan Etling had four for DePauw.
The NCAA appearance was DePauw's third straight and fifth in the last six years and this marked the Tigers' third trip to the second round.