The #2 Concordia Eagles played some big time volleyball on Saturday night, October 6, as they traveled to La Mirada, CA and defeated the #4 Biola Eagles 3-0 inside a packed Chase Gymnasium in the NAIA Game of the Week.
The CU Eagles cruised in the first set (25-16), and came back to win in the final two games (25-22 and 25-21). CU sophomore middle blocker Reanna Schelhaas was on fire, driving 14 kills in 16 swings with only one error and a .812 hitting percentage. Outside hitters Brooke Marino and Madison Ekis were good as well, with 11 kills each. The rest of the CU Eagles were very solid in support, with great passing and serving.
"Reanna Schelhaas was the story offensively," head coach Dan Fisher said. "They did not have a single dig against her. As a team we played good defense and did a nice job against their talented middles and outside hitter."
Concordia hit .200 on the game, compared to .147 for Biola. BU out-blocked CU by a slight edge, 10-9.5. Concordia had a sideout percentage of 67% and BU came in at 57%.
Concordia came out ready to go in this one, jumping to a 13-6 lead in the first set fueled by Schelhaas, Marino, and Ekis kills. Add to that multiple BU errors and a couple Concordia blocks. The teams traded points until a block by Jessica Israel and Le Mi, and a Jordan Smith ace made it 23-14 CU. A BU attack error ended the set at 25-16. Concordia hit .357 in the set, with BU at .172.
The home team had different ideas for the second game and the teams went sideout to a 10-10 draw. A kill and block by Biola star Amy Weststeyn saw Biola jump to a 16-11 lead. CU came crawling right back and tied the game at 19. The spurt was led by two Schelhaas kills, one Marino kill, and a Liz Younglove ace. With the score knotted at 22, a Biola service ace, Marino kill, and Schelhaas kill ended it at 25-22. CU hit .189 and BU hit .186.
The third set saw Concordia fall down again, but fight back for another win. Biola led 7-5 on two straight CU errors. After some sideout ball, a Biola attack error tied the game at 11. Biola took a three-point lead on a Christine Douglas kill and two CU errors. Biola held that edge until a Fei Gao kill and two Schelhaas kills tied the game at 18. Blocks by Concordia saw the visiting Eagles take a 21-18 lead. Concordia was fine to play a sideout game to the end until a Le Mi kill ended Biola's night.
Christine Douglas led Biola with 15 kills, but Concordia showed a lot of resolve on the road in a hostile environment as they came back in the final two sets to stay perfect in 2012. The game ended Biola's 18-game winning streak and nine-game streak of three-set wins.
"We were the stronger team serving and passing tonight," Fisher said. "I was pleased with how we responded in the second and third sets. Our first-ball sideout percentage was really good. It was great to see a good Concordia crowd here tonight, but this was the biggest crowd we have played in front of in two years."
Biola packed their gym on the school's parent weekend, but Concordia spoiled Saturday night inside the gym. The Eagles continued to improve on the best start in school history, going to 20-0 and 7-0 in conference, taking the driver's seat in the GSAC. Biola fell to 19-2 and 6-1 in the GSAC. CU remains one of only three unbeaten teams in the NAIA and have not lost a GSAC match since Nov. 13, 2010. Concordia plays a nonconference game at home on Tuesday, October 9 at 7 pm against #11 CSU San Marcos. Concordia will honor the 2012 NAIA Men's Basketball National Champion Eagles between the second and third sets. Watch the live stream at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/cui.portal#.