Eagles News
Volleyball - Fri, Nov. 30, 2012
News Photo
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(1) Concordia
25-19,25-14,25-19
(8) Hastings College
 

The #1 Concordia Eagles matched the school record the set last year with their 36th straight win on Friday night, November 30, this time against #8 Hastings (NE) inside the Tyson Events Center in a NAIA National Championship Quarterfinal match.  With the win CU is headed back to the NAIA Semifinals for the second consecutive year and seventh time in school history.

 

On Friday night the Eagles downed the Broncos in straight sets, but sets one and three both proved to be challenging for the Eagles.  Madison Ekis led the Eagles once again with 15 kills, hitting .278.  Jessica Israel was outstanding driving 10 kills in only 12 attempts, hitting .750 with two blocks.  Libero Kara Vincitorio was very good with 16 digs and kept the offense in motion, passing very well.  Le Mi had seven kills and three blocks, while Fei Gao had six kills and six digs.  CU hit .291, compared to .086 for HC.  Concordia barely edged the Broncos in the blocking battle, 5.5-5.

"We had a great scouting report from our coaches and we knew the strengths for them we needed to take care of," Kara Vincitorio said. 

Concordia, the #1 team and only undefeated team in the country earned an automatic bid to the 2012 NAIA Volleyball National Championship, marking the eighth trip and seventh straight in school history.  Concordia owns a record of 33-9 at the tournament and finished Runner-Up last season.  They entered the tournament as the #1 seed for the second consecutive season.

There were six pools with four teams in each pool and they all started action on Nov. 27. The top two teams from each pool advanced to the single-elimination bracket starting Nov. 30. The championship match will take place on Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. CST.

"We knew Hastings would play hard the whole game, and I am glad we responded by matching that," CU head coach Dan Fisher said.  "We're going to have to put together a good game plan and be ready for our friends from Biola."

Pool Play Bracket - Championship

Ekis paced Concordia early in the first set with three kills and the Eagles took a 10-8 lead on an Israel kill.  Two straight CU errors let Hastings tie it at 10, but CU took off from there, scoring five of the next six to go up 15-11.  Israel led with three kills over that stretch, with two of the assists coming from Jordan Smith.  The Broncos pulled within 16-14, but CU scored the next five, led by kills from Ekis and Schelhaas and three HC errors.  The teams went sideout to the finish, as Ekis got two kills and Schelhaas got one to finish 25-19.  Concordia hit .222 in the set, while HC hit .108.

Concordia absolutely dominated the second game from start to finish.  With Jenee Henderson on the serve, Concordia scored the first six points.  Henderson had two aces, Mi had two kills, and HC made two errors.  Concordia led 10-4 and scored three straight on two kills from Mackenzie Gromek and one from Israel.  Up 14-7, CU scored five straight with kills from Gao, Ekis, and Israel.  Jordan Smith had an ace and Gao and Mi had a block over that stretch.  Kills from Gao and Mi put CU up 23-9, their largest lead of the game.  HC scored five down the finish to make it better, but CU still won 25-14.  The Eagles hit .297 in the set, compared to .087 for Hastings.

The Broncos took an early 8-4 lead in the third game, looking to push the match to four.  Concordia trailed 5-10 before they started mounting a rally.  They scored five of the next six to pull within one at 10-11.  Three kills from Israel led the way.  With the scored 12-13 HC, the Broncos made five errors in the next six points, with Mi and Schelhaas getting a block and Mi finishing a Henderson set.  A couple CU errors made the count closer at 18-17.  The teams traded points before Ekis delivered three straight winners to make it 23-18 CU.  Kills from Israel and Ekis put a stamp on the match, 25-19.  Concordia hit .351 in the set, compared to .061 for HC.

With the win Concordia remained unbeaten at 36-0.  On the parallel court, #4 Biola defeated MidAmerica Nazarene 3-1 to make the first semifinal an all GSAC affair tomorrow.  The match will take place at 8:00 am PST inside the Tyson Events Center.

Live Stats

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On Friday Hastings ended their season at 30-7.  Concordia defeated Biola both times this season, giving the 30-4 BU Eagles two of their four losses.  CU has won the last four meetings against Biola in the last two seasons, but three of those matches have gone five sets.  Concordia is going to the semifinals in back-to-back years for the fourth time in school history.  They went four straight years from 2006-2009.

Concordia won the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) regular season championship by defeating No. 4 Biola (Calif.), 3-2, (25-21, 25-10, 23-25, 22-25, 15-8) on Nov. 10.  Concordia has won 36 straight matches and have six #1 rankings all-time.  Concordia has the longest active streak in the Top 25 as it has been ranked for 84-straight polls.

The Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) sent four programs to Sioux City: Biola, Concordia (Calif.), The Master's and Westmont. Besides Westmont, the other three teams have combined to win 104 championship matches. Westmont and The Master's were eliminated prior to the quarterfinals.

NeuLion, the NAIA's official video-streaming company of 12 select NAIA national championship events, will be broadcasting all single elimination matches of the 2012 Volleyball National Championship. The single-elimination matches' start at 10 a.m. CST on Nov. 30 will be streamed and coverage will continue through the championship match on 8 p.m. CST on Dec. 1. For more information and to pre-register, click here.

 

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