Story by Concordia Sports Information
IRVINE, Calif.-- The No. 1 Concordia (Calif.) Eagles made it a round 50-straight wins on Tuesday night with a comeback four-set win over No. 20 Vanguard (Calif.) inside CU Arena. Jessica Israel led the Eagles with 17 kills, hitting .289, and Madison Ekisadded 17 herself. Jenee Henderson had 10 winners, hitting .259. Le Mi and Hannah Andrews each had seven kills from the middle. Vanguard dominated the net, eight blocks to two, but hit only .141, compared to .252 for CU.
"We took the opportunity to use the lost set as fuel," Concordia senior Kaitlyn Platt said. "There are going to be times when we don't play our best, but we can use that to get better."
The Eagles dropped their first GSAC-set in the first game, as Vanguard jumped to a 12-7 lead, including a run of three with Myranda Cunningham serving. Concordia fell down 16-10 before starting a comeback. Two kills from Israel made it 16-13, but VUSC ran back ahead 20-15. The Eagles closed the gap, 21-18, on back-to-back kills from Israel and Jenee Henderson. An ace from Henderson made it 21-19, but Vanguard held the lead to win 25-22.
Concordia woke up for set two and took an early 10-7 lead on four kills from Israel. Vanguard fought back to tie the set at 14 and again at 15. Two VUSC errors and kills from Henderson and Ekis saw Concordia surge ahead 19-15. They put together another four-point run on two Ekis kills and one slam from Israel to lead 24-16, and won 25-17.
In set three it was back-and-forth through the first eight points, but Concordia scored three-straight on a kill from Henderson and ace fromKara Vincitorio. The Eagles increased the lead to five on a kill from Israel, via Henderson. A block from Li Mi and Henderson, and a bad set from Vanguard made it 19-12. Vanguard scored three straight in response, but Concordia played sideout to the 25-19 win.
In set four Concordia caught its pace after an early 5-5 tie, as three Vanguard errors, a kill from Andrews, and ace from Elizabeth Younglovemade it 9-5 CU. Concordia scored eight-straight with Taylor Dennison serving, fueled by kills from Ekis, Mi, and Henderson, all from Younglove. It was over from there as Concordia cruised to a 25-15 win.
"That Vanguard team wanted it more than us early, but it was nice to see our girls respond to adversity," head coach Trevor Johnson said. "We took care of our side. They had a great game plan, but we were able to make the adjustments."
With the win, Concordia extended its winning streak to 50 games and improved to 12-0, and 4-0 in the GSAC. Vanguard fell to 12-5 and 1-3 in conference play. Concordia stays at home and will host (RV) CSU San Marcos at 7 pm on Thursday, October 3. Watch the live stream athttp://client.stretchinternet.com/client/cui.portal#. Be sure to listen in as Concordia coaches from all sports are interviewed between the second and third sets by play-by-play man Jeff Evans.