DECATUR — The Millikin volleyball team lost to Carthage College 3-2 in the finals of the CCIW Tournament Saturday at the Griswold Center. 

Carthage earned the CCIW's automatic berth into next week's NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament, though Millikin (28-7) will still likely make the tournament field as an at-large bid.

Millikin won the first two sets 25-22 and 25-19. Carthage then stormed back and won the next three sets 25-17, 25-23, and 15-12.

"It was a classic CCIW battle and both teams fought super heard," Millikin coach Debbie Kiick said. "I thought Carthage probably had a little better composure than we had. We got a little frenzied on defense and they were able to capitalize on some tight passing that we had." 

Alora Goodey led the Millikin attack with 27 kills and five blocks with a .356 hitting percentage.

Erin Syversen had 21 kills and 21 digs. Emily Seegmiller had 10 kills and 11 digs.

Emily Mihalkanin had 61 set assists, 16 digs, three kills and one ace.

Meredith Artime had a team-high 29 digs.

Carthage got 18 kills and 17 digs from Megan Behrendt. Rachael Kisten finished with 17 kills. Ellie Lecount had 47 set assists and 12 digs.

"We got them in the regular season for the conference championship and they got us in the conference tournament," Kiick said. "It's very disappointing, but I know our girls put everything that they had into it. Monday, we find out if we get a bid, and we'll keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best." 

Carthage improved to 25-6.  

The Big Blue was ranked No. 1 in its region in this week's NCAA Regional rankings, a key component in selecting at-large entries.


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