No. 2 Concordia seemed to get themselves right against No. 12 Georgetown in their final pool play match on Thursday afternoon, December 5, in a 3-0 straight-set win. Madison Ekis was on fire with 13 kills on 20 attempts with only one error, hitting .600. Reanna Schelhaas hit .615 with nine kills in 13 swings. Jessica Israel and Kyleen Iverson each had six kills. Ekis served five aces and Iverson added four. Concordia hit .286, compared to .025 for the Tigers. Concordia was out-blocked three to seven, but did their damage with a high hitting percentage and nine aces.
Concordia jumped out early in set one with a 7-1 lead on kills from Israel, Ekis, and Schelhaas. With the score 8-3, Concordia scored six straight on kills from Ekis and Schelhaas, and an ace from Ekis. Georgetown caught their breath and started playing sideout volleyball, but with the count at 20-9, Concordia finished with a 5-1 flurry led by an ace from Ekis and kills from Schelhaas and Iverson.
Set two saw Concordia jump ahead again, but Tigers got their legs and kepit close at 10-7. It was back and forth with Concordia maintaining a two-point edge. With the count 17-15, Concordia rattled off four straight to pull ahead. The charge was led by a kill from Ekis and three GC errors. Jenee Henderson connected with Iverson after a long rally and Iverson sent one back on a solo block to win 25-18.
Concordia started set three up 4-0 on two early aces from Iverson. It grew to 6-2 as Elizabeth Younglove fed Israel. An ace from Ekis and kill from Alex Bozoian made it 10-3 Eagles. Concordia scored five straight after that to take a commanding 15-3 lead, fueled by another Ekis ace and a block from Bozoian and Schelhaas. Concordia held a 10-point edge until an Ekis kill made it 11 and a GC error ended it 25-14.
"We want to keep getting better and peak at the right time," Concordia head coach Trevor Johnson said. "I felt like this was our best match of pool play and one of our best of the year. We want to keep the same focus tomorrow and win the next point."
Concordia will advance as the No. 2 seed to their eighth quarterfinal visit in school history. They have only missed the quarterfinals once in their nine trips (2010). The Eagles opponent will be determined once tomorrow mornings matchups are completed. The match will take place at 3:45 pm PST.
"We played great today, but tomorrow we have to come back with the same mindset ready to go," Concordia senior Kyleen Iverson said.
(Schedule) (Live Streaming) The 34th edition of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Volleyball National Championship final site, presented by J&L Enterprises and CNOS Foundation welcomed 24 teams to the Tyson Events Center from Dec. 3 - 7. The City of Sioux City, Iowa, is hosting for the sixth-straight time. The semifinals are scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m. with the championship finals match to follow at 7 p.m.
Concordia (26-2), champions of the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC), is making its eighth-straight National Championship appearance and ninth overall. Concordia is trying to become the sixth different team to win back-to-back titles. The GSAC, with Biola, Concordia, The Master's, Vanguard and Westmont sends the most conference schools with five.
The top two teams in each pool (12 teams total) will advance to bracket play, which begins on Friday at 10 a.m. CST. Pool-play action concludes Thursday with the first wave of matches at 1 p.m. CST from the Tyson Events Center. Since 2006, the Eagles are now 22-1 in pool play.
NeuLion, the NAIA's official video-streaming partner, will be broadcasting all 47 matches of the National Championship. For the first time ever, all pool play matches from Dec. 3 - 5, in addition to bracket play through the championship final Dec. 7 will be streamed live. Single day packages can be purchased for $9.95, while an all-tournament pass is available for $24.95. For more information and to pre-register, click here.