Lady Celts Go 1-1 at the RRAC Tournament
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Lady Celts Go 1-1 at the RRAC Tournament

Brittany DownsThe Lady Celts traveled to University of Texas at Brownsville for their inaugural Red River Athletic Conference Tournament on Nov. 11.  The Lady Celts finished the regular season in a three-way tie for 4th but ended up with the 6th seed in the tournament due to tie breakers.  In the quarter finals on Friday, the No. 6-seeded Lady Celts played rivals No. 3 seed, Our Lady of the Lake University.

The Lady Celts got off to a slow start in the first set but found a way to find their rhythm towards the end of the set, despite losing 25-14.  The Celts were out hit .000 to .333.  Set two was a reversal of fortune for the Lady Celts.  The offense found its stride hitting .278 and the defense slowed down the Saints attack for a 25-17 win.  The third set saw the Lady Celts and Saints play a nail-biter, with 12 lead changes that the Saints won 26-24.  Down 2-1, the Celts hit a match high .419 to even the match at two sets apiece.  The fifth set saw both teams go on runs to take 3 point leads.  The Lady Celts jumped out to an early 7-4 lead but the Saints stormed back to take a late lead at 13-11. UST responded with great defense and timely hitting to tie the set at 14-14. Finally, the Lady Celts were able to string two points together to win the final set, 20-18.  UST had three hitters in double digit kills led by Regina Trapp’s 23, Stephanie Biediger’s 15 and Kirsten Kubicek’s 11.  Brittany Downs led the defensive charge with 23 digs.  The final scores were 14-25, 25-17, 24-26, 25-18 and 20-18.

Next up for the Lady Celts was the No. 2 seed Wiley College in the semifinals.  Wiley received a first round bye with an 8-1 conference record.  Earlier in the year, the Lady Celts lost a hard fought three-set match.  Using the knowledge from their previous match, UST came out ready to pull the upset against Wiley who was receiving votes for the Top 25.  The first set saw both teams’ offenses clicking, but some untimely hitting errors by the Lady Celts gave the first set to Wiley 25-19. In set two, the defenses flexed their muscle.  Both teams struggled to finish points, but Wiley once again made a few more plays than the Lady Celts to take a two-set lead after the 25-21 win.  Set three saw the team finally push through against the favored Wiley College with a 25-19 win.  Wiley stabilized their game and finished off the Lady Celts in set four, 25-16. The Lady Celts were led by Regina Trapp with 19 kills and Kirsten Kubicek with 10 kills.  Brittany Downs recorded a match-high 27 digs.  Downs was also named to the All-Tournament Team. 

The Lady Celts finished their season with a 19-17 record, a 4th place finish in the regular season and a third-place finish at the conference tournament in their inaugural year in the Red River Athletic Conference.  The Lady Celts placed two players on the 1st Team All-Conference Team: sophomore outside hitter Regina Trapp and junior setter Brittany Weiler.  They also placed two players on the 2nd Team All-Conference Team: sophomore rightside hitter Evon Welch and senior libero Brittany Downs.  Two members made Honorable Mention: junior outside hitter Stephanie Biediger and freshman middle blocker Kylah Dias.  Two members were selected for the NAIA Champions of Character Award: senior outside hitter Catherine Loth and junior rightside hitter Kelsey Balderamos.

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