The NAIA's No. 2-ranked Concordia Eagles showed no signs of a mid-season slump on Tuesday, October 9, as they dismantled the visiting No. 11 Cal State San Marcos Cougars in straight sets, (25-12, 25-19, 25-17).
Madison Ekis was absolutely crushing balls for Concordia, with 17 kills and two errors, for a .577 hitting percentage. Reanna Schelhaas stayed hot with seven kills, no errors, and a .778 percentage. Brooke Marino, Fei Gao, and Le Mi added five kills each. Marino added four service aces and Jenee Henderson aced two.
Concordia out-blocked the Cougars 7.5-6 and hit .283 on the match. CSU San Marcos struggled with a .058 hitting percentage.
Concordia came out on fire in the first set with early winners from Gao, Mi, and Ekis. Three late Ekis kills put CU up 15-6. A Schelhaas kill and CSUSM error made it 19-8 Eagles. Concordia spread it around late with kills from Marino, Ekis, Mi, and Gao to finish the set 25-12. CU hit .294 in the game, compared to -.033 for the Cougars.
Set two was back and forth early, but blocks from Marino, Schelhaas, and Jessica Israel put Concordia up 9-5. A block by Marino and Mi, and a Marino kill followed shortly to make it 13-7 CU. Marino then rattled off a kill and two aces, followed by a Mi kill, to make it 17-9. The Cougars responded with a run to pull within 18-14. Two straight Ekis kills to end it gave CU the six-point edge and 25-19 win. The Eagles hit .235 in the game, while CSUSM hit .129.
The teams took a break between sets two and three while Concordia honored their 2012 NAIA Men's Basketball National Champions with their Championship Rings.
Once back on the floor, Concordia was ready to roll again. Kills from Gao, Schelhaas, and Marino saw the score climb to 11-4 CU. CSUSM fought back again, climbing within 15-11 before two attack errors saw Concordia take a 17-11 lead. Another Ekis kill, and a block from Briana Hughes and Ekis made it 21-12 Eagles. Ekis rattled off three more kills late to secure the 25-17 win. Concordia dialed it up to .316 in the set, compared to .070 for the Cougars.
The Eagles continue to improve on the best start in school history, going to 21-0 and remaining 7-0 in conference. Earlier in the day they maintained their record of 79-straight weeks in the NAIA top-25 and remain one of three unbeaten teams in the country. The Cougars dropped to 18-9 on the year. The Eagles take nine days off before they welcome a familiar GSAC foe from the past, California Baptist, on Thursday, October 18 inside CU Arena. The teams have not played since November 9, 2010, before the Lancers left the GSAC for NCAA DII. CBU is currently 13-2 and 6-0 in the The Pac West.