Raiders’ historic season ends in NCAAs


MILWAUKEE — The Wright State volleyball program fell to No. 13 Georgia Tech in three sets on Thursday at the Al McGuire Center in the opening round of the NCAA Championship. The postseason loss ended WSU’s historic season that saw the Raiders win a program-record 23 consecutive games, go undefeated against conference competition, and make its third NCAA Tournament in the last four years.

WSU (28-4, 18-0 Horizon) dropped the opening set 25-23 before a 25-14 second set loss and a 25-17 third set final. Sam Ott led the Raiders with a double-double in the loss, finishing with 11 kills and 11 digs. Taylor Bransfield tallied seven kills and two blocks, while Katie Meyer passed out 21 of Wright State’s 23 total assists in addition to six digs. Callie Martin contributed with six digs, two service aces, and two blocks.

Georgia Tech (21-7, 13-5 ACC) advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship, where they will face the winner between regional host Marquette and Ball State. The Yellow Jackets hit .352 on the day with 41 kills on 91 attempts. Erin Moss (12 kills) and Julian Bergmann (10 kills) paced the attack with double-digit kill performances. The nationally-ranked team also found success with six service aces and eight total blocks.

Wright State’s 28 victories in the 2022 campaign were its most since the 1989 season. The Raiders’ perfect 18-0 HL record marked just the fourth time in conference history a team finished the regular season with three losses or less, joining Milwaukee (1999 and 2007) and Wright State from the Spring 2021 shortened season. The Raiders ended the year with the only two undefeated League seasons in Horizon League history (Spring 2021 and 2022).

Several Raiders collected honors as part of the 2022 Horizon League Volleyball Awards, led by Jenna Story’s fourth consecutive HL Defensive Player of the Year honor. Fellow fifth-year senior Lainey Stephenson earned Setter of the Year honors for the second time in her career, and first-year head coach Travers Green was named the Horizon League Coach of the Year. The good news didn’t stop with the major awards, as Wright State recorded a League-high four First Team honors, with Bransfield and Martin joining Stephenson and Story, while Aaliyah Byers was named to the All-Freshman Team.

SET 1: Georgia Tech raced out to a 5-0 lead en route to a 25-13 final tally in the opening set of the tournament match. The Raiders went on a 4-2 run, punctuated by a block from Martin and Byers, to close their deficit to 11-7. However, the Yellow Jackets responded with a 7-1 run to increase their edge to 18-8, which was too much for WSU to overcome.

SET 2: Wright State led 2-1 in set two after a GT attack error and a kill by Ott. The Raiders tied the set at 6-all following a 3-0 run, capped by a block from Megan Alders and Byers. Georgia Tech then went on a 9-1 run to build a 15-7 advantage. The momentum stayed in favor of GT, resulting in a 25-14 set win for the Yellow Jackets.

SET 3: The Raiders earned a 4-2 lead in set three following three consecutive kills by Bransfield and an ace by Martin. GT fought its way back in front, but Ott minimized WSU’s deficit to 8-7 with her ninth kill of the match. While the Yellow Jackets grew their lead to 16-10 following an 8-3 run, Wright State stayed within reaching distance with a Bransfield kill and a GT attack error, closing its deficit to 16-12. Georgia Tech capitalized late with five unanswered points, sealing a 25-17 third set final.

Staff Report

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