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Volleyball advances in national tourney, cross-country finishes strong

Kyle Stafford • Nov 21, 2018 at 8:20 PM

As cross country completed a successful trip to nationals Friday, volleyball continued its postseason run with a four-set victory over Cornerstone University on the road Saturday afternoon to advance to the NAIA Women’s Volleyball National Championship final site in Sioux City, Iowa’s Tyson Events Center on Tuesday, Nov. 27, through Saturday, Dec. 1.


The Lady Buffs (26-6) were selected to a very tough Pool A that features the No. 1 team in the nation in 32-0 Grandview, No. 16 College of Idaho (22-8) and No. 17 Providence (22-9). Milligan will face Grandview Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 3 p.m. central time, College of Idaho Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 4 p.m. and Providence Thursday, Nov. 29, at 2 p.m.

After dropping the first game to Cornerstone in the opening round, Milligan took control of the match in the second and won the following three games to clinch the victory over a talented Golden Eagles squad that was receiving votes in the final coaches’ top 25 poll.

Junior setter Kellee Geren put together a monster performance as she registered her 17th double-double of the season with 52 assists and 16 digs. Geren has played a vital role this season for the Buffs and is the engine that makes the offense go. The All-AAC first-team member has racked up 1,164 assists on the season and ranks 23rd nationally in assists per game at 9.95.

On the defensive side, it has been the 2018 AAC Libero of the Year, Alyssa Rupert, who has led the way for Milligan. The senior ranks second in the nation in digs per set (6.73) and sixth in total digs (787). Rupert scooped up a match-high 19 digs in the opening-round victory against one of the best fronts in the nation.

Freshman Elise Gregory sits only two kills away from 400 for the season, which is tops on the team. Middle blockers Julie Dockery and Julia Codispoti, and outside hitter Alyssa Gibson have provided solid offensive support alongside Gregory and has given Geren a plethora of options to go to on every attack.

With the win over Cornerstone, the Buffs have now won 17 of their last 19 matches and have only dropped a total of 13 games during that stretch.


Jacquelyn Crow became the 11th All-American in Milligan women’s cross country history after she produced the second fastest mark in Milligan women’s 5K history with a time of 17:45 to lead the No. 15 women’s team to a 12th-place finish. Crow finished ninth overall to help Milligan jump three spots at the event.

The trip was the 16th straight for the women’s team and the 11th time the Buffs finished in the top 15 during that stretch. Erica Stone (18:36/81st), Gabrielle Mardis (18:43/97th), Avery DeWolf (19:00/129th), Bekah Owen (19:13/168th), Hannah Bell (19:15/171st) and Kelsey Mowrey (19:45/241st) rounded out the list of runners for Milligan.

Alex Mortimer was the top finisher on the men’s side leading the Buffs to a 17th place finish. The 17th-place finish was the second highest finish all-time for the Buffs. Following Mortimer was Mitch Bronstetter (25:44/100th), Sam Wehner (25:46/107th), Seth Nicol (26:05/159th), Eric Shull (26:38/224th), Ethan Pfister (26:47/245th) and Cory Aulich (27:01/267th).

The women’s race consisted of 341 runners and 36 teams while the men’s race consisted of 330 individuals and 36 teams.


The Milligan College women’s basketball team remains unblemished on the season after picking up wins over St. Andrews and Union College last week, then Reinhardt on Tuesday. The Lady Buffs’ record currently sits at 6-0 (4-0 AAC).

Five different players average double figures for the Lady Buffs this season with senior Sarah Robinson topping the bunch at 14.8 points per game.

The men’s team continues to be led by senior forward Aaron Levarity, who averages a double-double with 19.3 points per game and 14.1 rebounds per game. The Buffs are currently 5-2 (2-1 AAC) on the season and will also face Reinhardt Tuesday on the road beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Both basketball teams return home on Wednesday, Nov. 28, when they host Truett McConnell. The women’s game will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the men following at approximately 7:30 p.m.

Swimming continued its successful start to the 2018-2019 season as it captured five national A cuts and 14 national B cuts at the Brenau Invitational Friday and Saturday. Freshman Isaac Etherton broke the school record in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:59.37, while the women’s 200 medley relay team also set a school record.

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