MILES — It will be an interesting volleyball season in the Big East Conference if Saturday’s East Central Invitational was any indication of how things will play out.

Northeast, which finished the 2008 season strong, defeated Preston, one of the conference favorites, 25-13, 25-21 on Saturday in the championship match. Prince of Peace also had an impressive showing with a third-place finish.

The Rebels were led to the title by all-tournament performers Danika Loots and Roberta Swanton. Northeast went 3-0 in pool play, beating Prince of Peace, Bellevue Marquette and Edgewood-Colesburg without losing a game.

The Rebels moved into the final with a 25-19, 25-5 semifinal victory against Anamosa before beating Preston.

Prince of Peace (4-2) beat Anamosa 25-16, 25-21 in the third-place match.

“I’m very proud of my team,” Prince of Peace coach Shanon Nelson said. “We didn’t make it to the tournament round last year. This is a great showing. They definitely exceeded my expectations.”

Ari Aquilani, who had 32 assists and 26 digs for the Irish, was named to the all-tournament team.

Other all-tournament players were Audrey Sieverding of Bellevue Marquette, Sydney Gray of East Central, Caley Medinger of Bellevue, Hannah Zieser of Edgewood-Colesburg, Jackie Engelbert of Anamosa and Preston’s Emily Henningsen and Brena Smithson.



EAST CENTRAL INVITATIONAL

Results

Pool A — Anamosa def. Bellevue 6-21, 21-19, 15-7; Preston def. East Central 21-10, 21-12; Preston def. Bellevue 21-12, 21-11; Anamosa def. East Central 21-12, 21-19; Bellevue def. East Central 21-13, 21-7; Preston def. Anamosa 18-21, 21-4, 15-5.

Pool B — Northeast def. Prince of Peace 21-19, 21-18; Bellevue Marquette def. Edgewood-Colesburg 21-18, 21-13; Northeast def. Bellevue Marquette 22-20, 21-15; Prince of Peace def. Edgewood-Colesburg 21-13, 21-11; Northeast def. Edgewood-Colesburg 21-16, 21-19; Prince of Peace def. Bellevue Marquette 22-20, 21-17.

Semifinals — Preston def. Prince of Peace 25-15, 25-19; Northeast def. Anamosa 25-19, 25-5.

Championship — Northeast def. Preston 25-13, 25-21. Third place — Prince of Peace def. Anamosa 25-16, 25-21.



Prince of Peace statistics

Kills — Erica Ugarph 22, Brittany Horst 16, Carrie Kuehn 15, Megan Lehmkuhl 14. Assists — Ari Aquilani 32, Lehmkuhl 29. Digs — Kuehn 33, Horst 31, Aquilani 26, Kirsten Heeren 25. Blocks — Lehmkuhl 4, Kuehn 3. Serving — Aquilani 39-for-40, 8 aces; Horst 29-33, 9 aces; Kuehn 22-25, 9 aces; Ugarph 33-35, 5 aces.

Marquette statistics

Kills — Kelli Herrig 10, Stephanie Kramer 10. Assists — Audrey Sieverding 29. Digs — Sieverding 29, Amanda Mueller 27, Liz Schroeder 19, Herrig 17. Blocks — Kramer 8. Serving — Mueller 17-for-17, 5 aces; Schroeder 23-26, 2 aces; Herrig 3 aces.

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