Rochester tops Brookhaven for first national title


ROCHESTER, Minn. – Rochester (Minn.) was crowned 2015 NJCAA Division III Volleyball champions Saturday as the Yellowjackets ousted Brookhaven (Texas) 25-22, 27-25, 13-25, 25-13, at the UCR Regional Sports Center. With the victory, Rochester hoisted the first national title in program history.

Leading the attack for the national champions was freshman middle blocker Jesnasha Jamison with a team-high 12 kills, recording a .357 hitting percentage in the win. Defensively, Jamison totaled nine digs and added two solo blocks.

Rochester sophomore setter Jessica Foster posted a team-high 41 assists and was rewarded for her direction of the offense throughout the tournament with MVP honors.

The Yellowjackets received a double-double performance from sophomore right-side hitter Tori Peterson who compiled 10 kills and 10 digs. Freshman middle blocker Ashely Bichel contributed nine kills on 26 attacks and led Rochester with five blocks – four solo.

Freshman outside hitter Johanna Bungum added eight kills and 10 digs to the effort, while freshman libero Carly McCabe anchored the defensive effort with 19 digs.

Sophomore hitters Alexis Garner and Erin Terry led Brookhaven offensively with 13 kills each. Bears sophomore libero Mathis Popelsky led the team in digs with 12.

Four Yellowjackets garnered recognition on the all-tournament team, including Bichel, Jamison, McCabe and Peterson. Rochester’s Amber Zitzow was named Coach of the Tournament.

Entering the tournament as the No. 4 seed, the run to the title for Rochester began Friday with a four-set victory over No. 5-seed Lorain County (Ohio). The Yellowjackets took the floor later that afternoon to claim a win over top-seed and defending national champion Madison (Wis.) in a five-set thriller.

Rochester improved its overall record to 27-6 with the victory in the championship match, while Brookhaven dropped to 26-10 with the loss.

Photos courtesy of Rochester Amateur Sports Commission.

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