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. Lochstampfor and Tinnell joined her on the SAA All Tournament team.
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.”
In other local college action:
Vikings win SAA TITLE
on penalty kicks
The calling card for the Berry men’s soccer team has been late-game heroics, and that was the case Sunday as the Vikings prevailed over Centre on penalty kicks in the SAA championship.
The match ended 2-2 in regulation, and neither team scored in the 20 minutes of extra time.
In the penalty kick phase, both teams made their first four shots. Centre’s Cameron Miller then had his attempt turned away by BC goalkeeper Logan Hill.
Matt Seib, the fifth Berry shooter, needed to convert his attempt for the Vikings to prevail, which he did.
Zak Wallingford scored in the 30th minute off a long cross pass from Bryan Sandridge. The score remained 1-0 at the break.
In the 48th minute, Caleb Lucas netted an unassisted goal for Berry.
Centre, the top-seed in the tournament, then fought back. The Colonels scored in the 60th minute as Josh Settle finished a pass from Austin Greer.
Centre tied the match in the 77th minute. After the referee called a Berry foul in the box, Ryan Gervey converted a penalty kick to knot the game.
“It was a well-payed game, but very back-and-forth as each team had its moments,” Vardy said. “Obviously we hated to lose the 2-0 lead, but our guys rebounded from a tough break when they tied it.”
Berry led in shots, 18-17, but trailed in corner kicks, 7-5. Hill made three save. Centre’s Zach Sosnovich stopped six Viking shots.
“I had modest expectations going into the year and I thought we over-achieved early in the season,” said Vardy. “About halfway through the year, however, I realized we were pretty good and would be tough in the conference tournament. I’m so happy for our seniors who have had no chance at a conference championship for three years. Also, we have 18 players returning, so we are looking forward to next year as well.
NOTES: Berry College is in its fourth and final year as a probationary Division III member. The Vikings are eligible for SAA championships this year, but will be able to play in the NCAA postseason in 2013-14....The Vikings were the second seed in this year’s SAA Tournament.