The sixth-seeded Tritons, making their first post-season appearance since 1995, end the year at 20-9, while third-seeded Lewis, in its fifth straight NCAA Tournament, improves to 27-4 overall and advances to tomorrow's regional semifinal against the winner of the No. 7 Northern Kentucky/No. 2 Grand Valley State match. Lewis won by set scores of 29-27, 25-23 and 25-18.
It was the third meeting this season between the two teams and the second within a week as the Flyers knocked the Tritons out of the GLVC Tournament in last Saturday's semifinal contest.
Lewis held UMSL to just .128 hitting and owned an 8-3 blocking advantage, while hitting .264.
Senior Carolyn Holstein paced the Tritons with 18 digs, while junior Kelsie Rankin finished with eight kills and 12 digs. Junior Shelby Crawford also finished with eight kills.
After finding themselves down 20-15 in the first set, the Tritons used a 9-3 run for a 24-23 lead. However, kills by Danielle Mount and Lauren Seliga put the score back in favor of Lewis, 25-24. The Flyers then had two set point attempts, but were fended off by UMSL before back-to-back kills by Jen Krumwiede and Seliga gave Lewis the 29-27 first set win.
In set two, with the score tied at 14-14, a pair of Weslie Gaff kills helped ignite a 5-1 UMSL run that gave the Tritons a 19-15 advantage. But the Flyers rallied back with nine straight points for a 24-19 lead en route to the 25-23 win.
Another Lewis run sparked the Flyers in the third set. With the score knotted at 8-8, Lewis reeled off seven straight points and never looked back.
Freshman Anna McNulty recorded 14 assists and seven digs, while junior Erin Higgins added seven kills.
Lewis was led by Mount's 13 kills.