After three months and 29 matches, the stage is set for it all to come down to one game yet again. Following tonight's 3-0 (25-20, 26-24, 25-19) sweep of No. 20 Grand View, No. 3 Biola will face No. 2 Concordia in tomorrow morning's NAIA Volleyball National Championship semifinals.
Biola did its part to set up the grudge match against Golden State Athletic Conference foe Concordia University by taking down the Vikings in the first ever meeting of the two squads.
With the win, Biola assured its place in the national semifinals for the fifth time since Aaron Seltzer took over as head coach in 2002. Last season the Eagles season came to an end in the semifinal round as they fell 3-1 to eventual champion Concordia. CUI defeated No. 7 Madonna in a dominant 3-0 sweep, leading throughout the entire match.
Biola had a little rougher go with Grand View, even needing extra points to finish the Vikings off in the second set. The two teams battled point for point in a tight first set until Biola managed to rattle off four straight points, with Emily Weingartner at the serve, to build themselves a five-point cushion at 18-13. The cushion would uphold all Grand View comeback attempts and give BU the first set win.
Game two was an uphill battle early as Grand View took a three-point lead, but that was the most extensive lead either squad would get through that entire set as a service error and Alyssa Mason and Chelsee Arnitz kills quickly brought BU back in the game. It took Biola two tries with the set point, but an Amy Weststeyn ace gave the the eventual 26-24 win.
That was Weststeyn's only ace of the night as she had one of Biola's eight total aces, led by three from Crissy Cunningham. Weststeyn would hit .500 on the night, picking up nine kills and two total blocks. Her nine were second only to Arnitz's 14, and incredible night for the senior middle blocker.
It was Arnitz's arm that had the privilege of ending the match with a kill off her signature slide attack. She sealed the Eagles' date with Concordia as she sent one blazing into the floor to end the third game. Tara Rallis was another senior who made a powerful impact on Friday night, picking up 23 digs to keep Biola in front in a defensive battle.
Biola will now meet up with Concordia at 9 a.m. PST on Saturday morning. Biola met Concordia twice during the 2013 season, losing at Irvine in four sets, and dropping a five-set thriller in Chase Gymnasium in the regular season finale.