Senior Brooke Marino breaks career mark in kills; Team sets school record with 18-0 start.
Saturday night, September 29, was all about breaking records for #2 Concordia. They defeated Hope International 3-0, but in the process senior outside hitter Brooke Marino, the 2011 NAIA & GSAC Player of the Year, broke the school mark with 1411 career kills. She bested two-time All-American Amber Riden's previous mark of 1406. Concordia also improved to 18-0, the best start in school history.
Marino recorded seven kills on the night, but did not play in the third set until the final two points. She hit .438 and had two digs. But more importantly she climbed the ranks of an impressive list of hitters in CU history. Marino was only the second player in school history named NAIA Player of the Year last year and is making a strong case again in 2012. She has 215 kills this season.
"It's one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me," Marino said. "To represent my school and be able to accomplish that makes it even better."
As a team, Concordia improved to 18-0, breaking the school mark of 17-0 set in 2009.
On Saturday Concordia cruised for most the night, using a lot of girls and playing well all night. They hit .407 as a team. Madison Ekis led Concordia with nine kills and Jessica Israel added another nine. Israel hit .692 on 13 swings. Le Mi hit .883 with five kills and Briana Hughes had five blocks. CU out blocked the Royals, 6-2.
CU ran out 15-5 in the first set on back-to-back blocks from Mi, Hughes, and Ekis. They made it 24-11 on a block from Hughes and Reanna Schelhaas, and a Hughes kill ended the set. CU hit .348 on the game and won 25-12.
The second game was somewhat back and forth early, but CU went up 10-5 on a Hillary Crone kill. It became 17-7 on kills from Marino and Mi. A kill by Ekis and HUI error ended the game at 25-11. The Eagles hit a scorching .600 on the set.
The third game was back and forth, with Hope taking an early 10-8 lead. Concordia went up 13-10 on five straight points, capped by a Kyleen Iverson kill. The teams played sideout volleyball from that point on and CU won 25-22.
Concordia improved to 18-0 and 5-0 in the GSAC. Hope dropped to 2-11 and 0-5 in conference. This night was all about Marino though, as she stands atop a program that boasts 17 NAIA All-Americans in the last eight years. She is already the seventh Eagle with 1000 kills.