No. 1 Cleveland State 3, No. 2 Green Bay 2
CLEVELAND- If you thought the drama was over after Saturday's play, you were in for a pleasant surprise with the championship game providing the fourth five set match of the tournament as Cleveland State held on to defeat Green Bay in front of their home crowd.
The match had a similar feel to Saturday's match for Cleveland State as the Vikings started out with a 2-0 set lead. In the first set the two squads went point-for-point until an Alexis Middlebrooks kill with the score 20-19 in Green Bay's favor sparked six straight points for the Vikings closing out the set 25-20. Cleveland State flexed their muscles in the second set as the team jumped out to an early 6-2 advantage and won 25-22.
After the break Green Bay found their groove as the Phoenix tallied the first four points of the third set, but were pushed to the brink as the Vikings fought back and took the lead 20-18. The Phoenix showed tremendous poise rattling off six straight points to avoid the sweep 25-22. The confidence from the third set victory showed in the fourth for Green Bay as the team notched the first five points and never trailed winning 25-14.
Cleveland State and Green Bay opened the final set trading points until six straight points cracked open the match 8-3 in favor of the home team that all but sealed the deal for Cleveland State. A late Aaliyah Slappy injury didn't rattle the veteran group as the Vikings closed out the set 15-7.
Cleveland State was led by All-Tournament MVP Alexis Middlebrooks who recorded 20 kills with a .515 hitting percentage along with four blocks. Gina Kilner guided the attack with 54 assists, and five kills while defensively Shannon Grega and Grace Kauth both registered 17 digs.
Green Bay capped off their most successful season (21-9 overall) in recent memory with strong play from Lydia DeWeese who tallied 10 kills and eight blocks. Megan Powers led the offense in kills with 17 and Austyn Everingham totaled 26 digs in defeat.
Cleveland State will find out their opponent in the NCAA Tournament next Sunday, November 27, at 9:00pm ET on ESPNU.
Melissa Deatsch, Oakland
Haley Libs, Northern Kentucky
Megan Powers, Green Bay
Lydia DeWeese, Green Bay
Shannon Grega, Cleveland State
Gina Kilner, Cleveland State
MVP: Alexis Middlebrooks, Cleveland State