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Huge comeback carries IPFW past Oakland and into championship match

Saturday, November 17, 2012 - 7:20 am

It took the IPFW women's volleyball team the full five games and overcoming a two-game deficit but the Mastodons are one win away from a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

IPFW rallied after losing the first two games and defeated Oakland 21-25, 20-25, 25-16, 29-27, 15-9 in the Summit League Tournament semifinals on Friday in Fargo, N.D., to advance to the conference tournament championship match.

Outside attacker Emily Spencer -- who was named Summit League Player of the Year on Thursday -- had a match-high 24 kills against Oakland. In addition, middle attacker Jessie Manwaring had 16 kills, while outside attacker Hailie Ripley added 12 kills.

Oakland in the loss out-hit IPFW .203 to .196. However, the Mastodons (24-6, 12-4 Summit League) held the Grizzles to a match-high .050 attack percentage in the fifth game and opened the decisive game on a 7-0 run.

Libero Tessa McGill also had a match-high 27 digs to help give IPFW the win after losing to Oakland (16-13, 9-7 Summit League) twice during the regular season.

With this victory, IPFW will advance to play in-state rival IUPUI in the conference tournament championship match at 8 p.m. Saturday. IUPUI (22-9, 13-3 Summit League) swept Kansas City in the other semifinal match Friday.

The winner of the Summit League Tournament championship match will receive conference's only automatic bid to the 64-team NCAA Tournament.

IPFW has not appeared in the NCAA Tournament since 2009.