Berry Volleyball Wins Inaugural SAA Championship

Kelsey Lochstampfor
Kelsey Lochstampfor

ROME, Ga. -- Kelsey Lochstampfor had a season-high 18 kills as Berry College defeated Millsaps College, 3-1, in the inaugural Southern Athletic Association volleyball championship. Set scores were 25-22, 25-16, 22-25, 25-12.

A sophomore, Lochstampfor came into the match averaging 1.6 kills per set, fifth among Berry's starters. 

"Our game plan was to isolate Kelsey on the right side early and often and she connected," said Berry Head Coach Mika Robinson. "Millsaps is a very good blocking team, so we wanted to set up Kesley on the outside."

The game plan worked for the Vikings. Lochstampfor recorded seven kills in each of the first two sets to help Berry take a 2-0 lead. For the match, she hit. 405.

In the third set, however, the Majors rebounded and won the set, 25-22. In the frame, Millsaps out-hit BC .286 to .152. Berry trailed in the set 18-9, but rallied to make it 24-22 before falling. 

The Vikings left no doubt in the decisive fourth set. Berry went ahead 10-0 in the frame with nine points coming off Jennifer Tinnell serves. Berry had its best hitting set as they spiked at .393 to .034 for the Majors in the last set.

Stephanie Quinn was named MVP of the inaugural SAA volleyball championship. The setter dished 40 assists in Sunday's match. 

Tinnell had four aces to go along with a match-best 20 digs. Emily Stromberg added 15 kills for Berry, which finished at 27-5 for the season. The 2012 winning percentage of .844 is the best by a Viking volleyball team.

Millsaps ends its year at 25-7. Kelsey Laird and Caroline McKey both netted 10 kills for the Majors.

"This was our goal from day one: win a conference championship," said Robinson. "We're looking forward to building on this next year and setting a goal of playing in the national tournament."

NOTES: The volleyball league tournament championship is the first for Berry College (the Vikings won an SSAC regular season title in 2008 as an NAIA member). BC began sponsoring volleyball in 2003.... Berry is in its fourth and final year as a probationary member of Division III and will be eligible for NCAA championships next year. The Vikings are eligible for conference titles in SAA sports in 2012-13.... Berry defeated Millsaps, 3-1, in the three matches between the teams. The Majors' win in set two was the only set victory for a lower-seeded team in the 2012 SAA Tournament.