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California Lutheran sweeps title match

2015 Division III Women’s Volleyball

Cal Lutheran’s Nicki Tetherow (center) and Hannah Nua (right) hug teammates. ERIK HOLLADAY / NCAA PHOTOS

The Results

CHAMPIONSHIP

Cal Lutheran 3, Wittenberg 0

SEMIFINALS

Cal Lutheran 3, Carthage 2

Wittenberg 3, Hendrix 1

ELITE 90 HONOREE

Lauren Petrisin, Hendrix

When the California Lutheran University women’s volleyball team became the first in school history to secure an NCAA national championship trophy, the Regals wanted to share their accomplishment with predecessors.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this group,” coach Kellee Roesel said after her team won the Division III championship Nov. 21 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “I want to say this is for all the kids that came before these kids.”

Cal Lutheran swept Wittenberg University, 3-0, in the final match. Outstanding on the court, the Regals proved to be catchy performers off of it, too. The players danced during a break in the locker room. They danced after collecting the championship trophy. They sang, “We Are the Champions.”

The Regals, who were making their third appearance in the NCAA final, finished 2015 with a 31-5 record, but they weren’t dancing all season. After losing in the final of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament, they weren’t guaranteed a spot in the NCAA tournament until they gained an at-large bid. And in the national semifinals, Cal Lutheran had to survive a strong effort by Carthage College before winning 3-2.

“So many ups and downs,” junior Michelle Lawrence said. “People didn’t think we’d make it this far, and we fought through adversity.”

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Champion magazine goes behind the headlines and beyond the scoreboards to celebrate the unique connection between Americans and college sports. Champion is published by the NCAA.

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