By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications and Sports Information
Photo courtesy of Steve Paulson
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Schedule) (Live Streaming) The No. 4 seeds in each pool made some noise on Day 2 of pool play at the NAIA Volleyball National Championship final site, presented by J&L Enterprises and CNOS Foundation. Indiana Wesleyan (Pool C), Spring Hill (Ala.) (Pool E) and Grand View (Iowa) (Pool F) all were on the winning end as the low seeds. The format is comprised of six pools with four teams each and all teams within the pool are scheduled to face each other.
Wayland Baptist (Texas), who is one three newcomers, continues to impress after a 3-0 victory over top-seed Northwestern (Iowa) in Pool E. The Pioneers are now 2-0 in the pool and will play Spring Hill tomorrow for a chance at advancing into Friday bracket play.
Tomorrow, there are two pools that will match the top-two seeds who are still undefeated: Pool A has top-seed Texas at Brownsville against No. 2 Columbia (Mo.) and in Pool B, No. 1 seed Concordia (Calif.) faces No. 2 Georgetown (Ky.).
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. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling the Tyson Events Center box office at 712-279-4850.
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.
Earning its 10th-straight shutout on the year, Texas at Brownsville swept Westmont (Calif.) by scores of 25-14, 25-21, 25-11. The Ocelots, who will face the other undefeated team in Pool A Columbia tomorrow, used an efficient attack to take down Westmont. Danica Markovic and Annelies Dokter led the club with nine kills each. Texas at Brownsville hit .393 as a team and compiled 12.0 blocks. The win improved the Ocelots to 33-0 on the year. The champions of the Red River Athletic Conference moved to 16-2 in the postseason since 2010.
Columbia (Mo.) stayed undefeated in pool play with a 3-2 triumph over host school Briar Cliff (Iowa). The Cougars have gotten hot by winning their 13th-straight on the year. Paula Rosa finished with a season-high 23 kills (43 in pool play) and also had 15 digs in the winning effort. Briar Cliff, who dropped to 0-2 in the pool, held 1-0 and 2-1 set advantages but couldn't close out Columbia. The Chargers were led by Monica Boeding's 15 kills and 12 digs. Set scores were 24-26, 25-23, 22-25, 25-10 and 15-12.
After Park (Mo.) tied the match at 1-1, top-seeded Concordia (Calf.) won the next two sets to take the 3-1 affair (25-12, 18-25, 25-17, 25-22). Both Madison Ekis (14 kills, 10 digs) and Kyleen Iverson (13 kills, 14 digs) had double-doubles for the Eagles. Falling to 0-2 in the pool, Park saw Wanessa Siqueira lead the team with 12 kills and six blocks, including two solo blocks. Since 2006, the Eagles are now 22-1 in pool play and are trying to advance out of pool play for the eighth time in the past nine years.
Georgetown (Ky.) found itself in a 1-2 hole before taking sets four and five to stay undefeated in the Pool. Scores in the match against Trinity Christian (Ill.) were 20-25, 25-21, 23-25, 25-19, 15-10. The five-set win was the Tigers' fourth in the past five matches. Rachel Eubanks was the offensive star for Georgetown with 18 kills. Kaitlin Feddema led a balanced attack for the Trolls with 13 kills and 17 digs.
In a match that lasted less than an hour, Biola (Calif.) made quick work over Dordt (Iowa), 3-0 (25-9, 25-12, 25-14). The Defenders could never get going and hit .090 as a team, which was their second-lowest total this season. Amy Weststeyn recorded her fifth-straight 10-plus kill match with a team-high 11 tonight. Biola earned some key points on the serve with 10 service aces. Brooke Wolterstorff and Lindsey Floen posted a team-high six kills for Dordt.
Rae Brandes (21 kills) and Christiana Tavo (17 kills) were integral in the 3-2 Indiana Wesleyan win over Lindsey Wilson (Ky.). Set scores were 22-25, 25-21, 25-19, 19-25, 15-13. Brandes hit .333 and added 18 digs to her stat line. Katey Holler came away with a season-high 33 digs - her high before tonight was 13. Lindsey Wilson received solid efforts from Nadelina Nesheva with 20 kills and setter Alexa Just with 62 assists.
Sam Dougherty helped lead The Master's (Calif.) to an upset of undefeated Madonna (Mich.) with 23 kills and 19 digs. The loss was the first for Madonna on the year and dropped the Crusaders to 39-1. As the No. 3 seed in the pool, The Master's improved to 2-0 in pool play with the 3-1 victory (25-16, 23-25, 25-19, 26-24). Aubrey Bekendam notched her seventh match this year of 45-plus assists (46.) Madonna hit .139 on the match, which was its second-lowest mark on the season. The Mustangs are trying to make bracket play for the second-straight year.
In a match that featured 0-1 teams in the pool, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) held on against Rocky Mountain (Mont.) by a 3-2 count. The Pioneers took the first two sets, but Rocky Mountain put the pressure on with wins in sets three and four. MidAmerica Nazarene's Zoraida Heredia spiked home her team-best 18th kill to seal the win in set five. Scores were 30-28, 25-11, 15-25, 20-25, 15-13. Ahlea Billis led the Battlin' Bears with 19 kills and 23 digs.
The surprise of the championship, Wayland Baptist (Texas) continued its upset status with a 3-0 sweep (25-18, 25-20, 25-21) of top-seed Northwestern (Iowa). The Pioneers are playing in their first-ever national championship and have dominated the No. 1 and 2 seeds in consecutive nights taking a 3-0 win over No. 2 Vanguard (Calif.) last night. Wayland Baptist entered the match ranked fourth in the NAIA in blocks per game and utilized their defense again with 11.0 team blocks. Shahala Hawkins finished with seven blocks, including one solo block, to go along with 11 kills. Karlie Schut topped Northwestern with 13 kills.
Spring Hill (Ala.), a team that had its 28-match win streak stopped last night, came back with a 3-2 win (20-25, 27-25, 22-25, 25-12, 15-13) against Vanguard (Calif.). The Badger defense was the theme as it finished with 14 team blocks and limited Vanguard to a .125 hitting mark. Sha Sha Buchanan was the leader in kills with 18 and added eight blocks, including one solo block. The Lions, who fall to 22-8 on the year, had Charlotte Heerlyn (18), Jessica Neves (12) and Sarah McKinny (10) in double-figures in kills.
Top-seed Midland (Neb.) moved to 1-1 in the pool with a five-set thriller over Embry-Riddle (Fla.), 25-21, 19-25, 28-26, 18-25, 15-13). Both teams hit poorly, including a .039 mark by Midland, but the Warriors front line was instrumental with 15.5 total blocks. Heather Pribyl was at the center of that block effort with nine block assist. KC Heimann ended with 16 kills for Midland. Taylor Ruiz knocked down 18 kills to lead Embry-Riddle.
Fourth-seed Grand View (Iowa) continued to impress with a 3-1 (20-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-23) win over Oklahoma Baptist. The Vikings, who moved to 32-13 on the year, is the only bottom seed in any pool this year to be 2-0. Taylor Wells tallied a match-tying high with 22 kills and finished with a .333 hitting mark. Kristin Pressley was the only player to record a double-double with 22 kills and 17 digs for the Bison.
For more national championship information, click here.
Records of Seeds
Record of No. 1 seeds: 9-3
Record of No. 2 seeds: 6-6
Record of No. 3 seeds: 5-7
Record of No. 4 seeds: 4-8