Fresno Pacific Sweeps Columbia to Win Fourth-Consecutive NAIA Volleyball National Championship
Dec. 4, 2010
Contact: Adam Samson, NAIA Sports Information and Media Services Intern, email@example.com
SIOUX CITY, Iowa - Fresno Pacific (Calif.) made history with its fourth-straight NAIA Volleyball National Championship Saturday at the 31st annual event presented by Siouxland Sports Medicine Foundation at the Tyson Events Center/Gateway Arena. The third-seeded Sunbirds pulled off the sweep of Columbia (Mo.) 25-20, 25-18, 25-19, handing the Cougars their first loss in Sioux City, Iowa.
With the win, Fresno Pacific became the third NAIA school to win four consecutive titles. Only Hawaii-Hilo and Brigham Young-Hawaii have accomplished the feat before the Sunbirds. Dennis Janzen and the Fresno Pacific program have now won six total national championships, winning in 1989, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The Sunbirds took the first set 25-20 behind the strong play of Martina Gregusova. The junior outside hitter, who was named the Tachikara Tournament Most Valuable Player hit .529 for the set, slamming home 10 kills in 17 swings. For the match, Gregusova hit .415 and totaled 23 kills, nine digs and two service aces. Teammate Ke Ke Wang, who led the NAIA Volleyball National Championship in hitting percentage at .472, was named to the Tachikara All-Tournament Team.
Other Sunbirds that had strong performances in the championship match were Erica Adachi, who dished out 39 of the team's 42 assists, Ke Ke Wang, who had 11 kills and Mariah Mandelbaum, who had a match-high 16 digs.
Returning to the championship match for the first time since 2005, the fourth-seeded Cougars were not able rally past Fresno Pacific's attack. Finishing with a 5-1 record at the National Championship, Columbia placed three players on the Tachikara All-Tournament Team including: Tally Mattos, Paula Ferreira and Vesna Trivunovic. On the night, Trivunovic led all Cougar players with 10 kills and Mattos led with 13 digs.
The Sunbirds conclude their season with a 35-2 record, while Columbia closed out its campaign with a 42-3 mark.
2010 Tachikara All-Tournament Team
Whittany Radcliffe, Azusa Pacific (Calif.)
Christine Douglas, Biola (Calif.)
Ingrid Carmona, California Baptist
Naomi Reimer, College of Idaho
Vesna Trivunovic, Columbia (Mo.)
Paula Ferreira, Columbia (Mo.)
Tally Mattos, Columbia (Mo.)
Amber Ridens, Concordia (Calif.)
Abby Hall, Embry-Riddle (Fla.)
Erica Adachi, Fresno Pacific (Calif.)
Ke Ke Wang, Fresno Pacific (Calif.)
Arlene Ferreira, Lee (Tenn.)
Nicole Graybeal, Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)
Tabitha Henken, Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.)
Danica Markovic, Texas at Brownsville
Tachikara Tournament Most Valuable Player
Martina Gregusova, Fresno Pacific (Calif.)
Tournament Champions of Character Team Award
NAIA All-Tournament Coach
Dennis Janzen, Fresno Pacific (Calif.)