Rochester, MN - In the national semi-finals on Friday night the RCTC Yellowjackets were pushed to five sets for the first time all season as they fell in a thriller to Columbus State. On Saturday, the jackets were back in action as they played in the third place match, and once again the match went the distance. Brookhaven (TX) outlasted RCTC in the 5 set showdown to claim 3rd place and end the Yellowjackets season at 31-4 and 4th place in the nation.
The first set of the match was all Brookhaven as the Bears had 13 kills and hit .400 to win by a convincing 25-13 score. In the break between sets Coach Amber Zitzow and the Yellowjackets were able to make some adjustments (particularly defensively), and turn the table on the Bears. The Yellowjackets held Brookhaven to .125 and .029 attack percentages in sets tw and three en route to 25-20 and 25-15 wins. The Yellowjackets hit .250 for the two sets and looked poised to close out the match in set four.
In that fourth set the Brookhaven offense once again got on track as they hit .273 compared to RCTC's .078 to win 25-22 and force the decisive fifth set. In the fifth, both teams offenses were clicking as the Bears hit .409 and the Jackets hit at a .389 clip with 0 errors. Unfortunately for the Jackets the Bears scored 5 of the final 6 points in the match to close it out 15-11.
For the match Carrie Rutledge lead all players with 25 kills. The sophomore outside hitter added 15 digs as well. Joining Rutledge in double figures in kills was Hayley Dessner with 21. Brekkin McCready added 46 assists and 15 digs, while Kate Bade lead the way defensively with 24 digs on the night. Jessica Storm had a big night defensivley for the Jackets as well with 17 digs.
For the match the Jackets hit .168 as a team while Brookhaven hit .223. At the conclusion of the tournament the Yellowjacket's Brekkin McCready and Carrie Rutledge were named to the NJCAA National Tournament All-Tournament team.