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November 12, 2003

Gallaudet Enters NCAAs on a Roll

From: Washington Post, DC - Nov 12, 2003

Gallaudet will make its fourth -- and perhaps least expected -- appearance in the NCAA Division III women's volleyball tournament when it faces Colorado College in a first-round game Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the University of La Verne in Southern California.

The Bison (17-17) earned an automatic bid to the tournament thanks to their improbable run to the Capital Athletic Conference championship. Gallaudet entered the CAC tournament on a three-game losing streak but pulled off three straight road upsets against teams with a combined record of 75-29.

In the first round of the tournament, the Bison defeated Catholic, which had won six straight in the teams' series. Gallaudet then defeated top-seeded Salisbury in the semifinals, snapping the Seagulls' 16-game winning streak. In the championship Saturday against second-seeded York (Pa.) College, Gallaudet lost the opening game but rallied to win three straight and claim the conference crown.

"We're definitely peaking at the right time," said Coach Patrick O'Brien, in his seventh year leading the program. On Monday, O'Brien was named CAC co-coach of the year with Sue DuMars of York. "I'm excited about what the team can do this week."

In addition to O'Brien's honor, sophomores Tamijo Foronda and Valerie Trofimenkoff were named first-team all-CAC Monday. Foronda was one of only two players in the CAC to be among the top six in both kills per game (3.04) and hitting percentage (.282). Trofimenkoff led the conference in hitting percentage (.332).

-- Jake Schaller

© 2003 The Washington Post Company