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Heartbreaking End, Geneva Falls in NCAA Regionals


Grand Rapids, MI - The way the 2011 Geneva College women′s volleyball season has gone it just seemed as though the Golden Tornadoes would find a way to get things done in the first round of the NCAA Division III regional tournament. Despite a pair of match points on Thursday afternoon, Geneva saw its record breaking season come to an end with a 3-2 loss to ninth ranked Heidelberg in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Golden Tornadoes set a school record for victories in a season while also capturing the school′s first PAC title with an overall record of 27-9 and a conference mark of 17-1.

Playing in its first NCAA regional tournament, Geneva came out firing with a 26-24 victory in the first game of the match. Heidelberg answered back with a 25-14 decision in game two before the Golden Tornadoes again took control with a 25-22 victory in game three. The see-saw match continued with a 25-18 Heidelberg win in game four which set up the fifth and decisive game. Geneva opened up a three-point lead midway through the final game and was handed a match point at 14-13. The Golden Tornadoes could not close out the match but was given another opportunity at 15-14 but once again came up short. Heidelberg capitalized on its only match point opportunity and won game five 17-15.

"It′s difficult to think of all the positive things that happened with this team this year right now," said co-head coach Wendy Smith. "This was such a bitter pill to swallow but looking at the entire season how can we be the least bit disappointed. I am so proud of every member of this team and what they accomplished can never be taken away."

Rachel Kuegler, playing in the final match of her Geneva career, posted 12 kills to lead Geneva along with 12 from Ashley Davis. Maggie Bowersox finished the match with nine kills. PAC player of the year Deanna Briody posted 38 assists while senior Brianna Mixter led the team with 34 digs in the final match of her career. "This was an amazing experience for everyone involved with our program," said co-head coach Curt Conser. "Rachel (Kuegler) and Brianna (Mixter) meant so much to this program over the last four years. I guess watching them end their career is the most difficult part of this entire process."

Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College′s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education. Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).