By: Matt Bos, Northwestern (Iowa) Sports Information Director
SIOUX CITY, Iowa - The final match is set for the 2013 NAIA Volleyball National Championship final site, presented by J&L Enterprises and CNOS Foundation. Top-seed Texas at Brownsville and #3 Biola (Calif.) won their respective semifinal matches and will meet in the 34th annual title match on Saturday night from the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
Texas at Brownsville, ranked first since the Oct. 22 poll, earned a four-set win over 19th-ranked Wayland Baptist in its semifinal match. The Ocelots return to the championship match for the second time and first since winning the title in 2011. Biola eliminated the defending champion, #2 Concordia (Calif.), in straight sets to advance to its first championship match since 1997 and third overall.
The championship match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. CST on Saturday night. Tickets can be purchased at the Tyson Events Center door or in advance by calling the box office at 712-279-4850. Neu Lion, the NAIA’s official video-streaming partner, is broadcasting all 47 matches of the National Championship.
Semifinals – Dec. 7
No. 3 Biola (Calif.) vs No. 2 Concordia (Calif.):
Biola returns to the championship match for the first time since the 1997 season with a convincing 3-0 win (25-17, 25-21, 25-23) its Golden State Athletic Conference rival, Concordia. The loss ends Concordia’s quest to be the first team since former member Fresno Pacific (Calif.) in 2010 and 2011 to win back-to-back titles. Playing for the third time this season, Biola dominated this match-up from the opening serve, led by the middle hitter duo of Chelsee Arnitz and Amy Weststeyn who put down 14 and 12 kills respectively. Setter Gracee Gallarda loft up 36 assists and totaled two kills, five blocks and two blocks. Biola hit .311 as a team and moves on with a 27-3 record.
Concordia was led by Madison Ekis with 14 kills, the only Eagles player to record double figures. Concordia ends the year with a 27-3 overall record.
No. 5 Wayland Baptist (Texas) vs No. 1 Texas at Brownsville:
The top-ranked Ocelots will head to its second championship match after defeating Wayland Baptist 3-1 (25-11,23-25,25-16,25-15). Texas at Brownsville had three players reach double figures in kills, led by three-time All-American Danica Markovic with 18. Both Annelies Dokter and Vanja Joksic put down 15 kills each as the Ocelots hit .368 for the match. They will try to win their second national title, winning it all in 2011.
Wayland Baptist was led by senior Grecia Rivera with 15 kills and Shahala Hawkins added 14 kills and two blocks. The Pioneers, playing in their first ever National Championship, end the season with a 35-7 mark.
NeuLion, the NAIA’s official video-streaming company of select NAIA national championship events, will be broadcasting the NAIA Volleyball National Championship. Single day packages can be purchased for $9.95, while an all-tournament pass is available for $29.95. For more information and to pre-register, click here.