A reception for the Tommies’ NCAA champion volleyball team will be held at noon Thursday, Nov. 29, in Schoenecker Arena. Students, alumni, parents and fans are invited. Cake will be served after a brief ceremony.
St. Thomas finished 40-1 and became the first MIAC program to win a national team championship in volleyball. Coach Thanh Pham’s team capped off the title with a 3-2 comeback win over No. 1-ranked Calvin (Mich.) on Nov. 17 in Holland, Mich.
There are 420 teams that compete in Division III volleyball. The Tommies are one of two programs to reach the eight-team national tournament in each of the last three seasons.
The national team championship was the sixth by a Tommie team in the last 13 years. St. Thomas now has won NCAA team titles in eight different sports, a feat surpassed by only one Division III instiution — Williams (Mass.), with nine.
2012 Tommie Volleyball milestones
- NCAA champions – first by any MIAC volleyball program
- Won final 35 matches of season
- Won MIAC-record 40 matches
- Had sixth-best winning percentage in Division III history (40-1, .976 winning percentage)
- Only the second team in the 32-year history of D-III nationals to rally from a 2-0 set deficit and win the last three sets of the championship match
- 14-0 run against MIAC opponents, swept conference regular-season and playoff titles
- First team in MIAC history to win or share six consecutive conference championships
- Current home-court win streak of 28 matches
- Thanh Pham, region and MIAC Coach of the Year
- Two first-time All-Americans, sophomore Kelly Foley and junior Paige Brimeyer
- Sophomore Jill Greenfield selected Most Outstanding Player at eight-team national tournament
- Senior libero Kaiti Wachter played in all 149 career matches, finished in D-III’s top 15 in career digs with 2,951
- Senior Kia Johnson, a Goldwater scholar, was 2011 and 2012 Elite 89 winner as top grade-point average among 136 athletes at nationals
- Team ranked in 93 of last 94 AVCA D-III national polls