The No. 2 Concordia Eagles stayed focused on Tuesday night, October 23, and defeated visiting No. 14 Westmont 3-0 in CU Arena. Head coach Dan Fisher made sure his ladies were ready to go on Tuesday, even with No. 1 Texas at Brownsville waiting in the wings on Thursday night.
Brooke Marino led the charge on Tuesday with 14 kills, two aces, seven digs, and two blocks. Fei Gao had her best kill output lately with 12 winners and 11 digs, while hitting .458. Reanna Schelhaas stayed hot with eight kills, six blocks, and hit .471. Jessica Israel added five kills and three blocks, and Kara Vincitorio had 25 digs from the libero position.
"We wanted to push them hard tonight and in all three matches someone stepped up, which was great to see," Marino said. "I am hoping for a great crowd on Thursday and we are ready for the match."
WC star Madison Serrano led the Warriors with nine kills. Ciara Turner was strong with four blocks.
The Eagles hit .294 on the match, while the Warriors hit .063. Concordia out blocked WC 9.5-5 and had a sideout percentage of 75%, compared to 44% for Westmont.
Kills by Gao, Schelhaas, Marino, and Israel gave CU an early 7-4 lead. Two Marino kills, Gao and Ekis winners, and a Gao and Schelhaas block gave CU a 17-9 edge. Three straight blocks from Schelhaas and Israel spread to margin even wider to 22-11. The Eagles cruised in at 25-13, hitting .343 compared to -.057 for WC.
CU came out even hotter in set two as two Marino kills paced CU to a 6-0 start. Westmont called a timeout and stopped the bleeding, but Concordia stayed strong and played sideout volleyball for the remainder of the match. Westmont got within three two times, but eventually fell 25-19. CU hit .250 on the match, compared to .128 for Westmont.
Set three was back to square one for Westmont, as the Eagles dominated once again. It was back and forth early, until Concordia scored six points to one WC winner and pulled ahead 16-10. The run was fueled by aces from Marino and Jenee Henderson, and multiple Westmont errors. After a Warrior point, Concordia poured on five more straight. That run featured kills from Marino, Gao, and Schelhaas. The match ended shortly after at 25-13. CU hit .294 in the final game, compared to .108 for WC.
"There won't be any lack of motivation on Thursday," head coach Dan Fisher said. "The girls will be ready to go. We are hoping for a packed house and great atmosphere."
Concordia improved to 24-0 and 9-0 in the GSAC. Westmont fell to 21-6 and 4-5 in conference. With the win behind them CU can now focus on Thursday night against #1 Texas at Brownsville (20-0). The match features it all, #1 vs. #2, the only two undefeated teams in the nation, and a rematch of the 2011 NAIA National Championship. The action gets underway at 7 pm inside CU Arena.