Photo Courtesy of Steve Paulson
Sioux City, Iowa - (Bracket) The opening day of pool play at the 2012 NAIA Volleyball National Championship presented by CNOS Foundation featured dominant performances from many of the nation's highest-rated teams. Four of the top-five squads in the final Top 25 Poll cruised to straight-set victories in Sioux City, Iowa.
Coming into the National Championship with the most wins in the NAIA, Indiana East fell in five-sets to Georgetown (Ky.), 3-2, (23-25, 25-21, 26-24, 20-25, 15-10). Stephanie Gurren dished out 28 assists for the Tigers. Concordia (Calif.) continued its undefeated season in its first match of pool play as the Eagles defeated Morningside (Iowa), 3-0, (25-10, 25-17, 25-13). Madison Ekis led the Eagles with eight kills while Jenee Henderson passed out 16 assists.
No. 2 Texas at Brownsville won its seventh-straight match as the Scorpions defeated St. Francis (Ill.) 3-0, (25-14, 25-14, 25-23) in the first game of Pool B. Texas at Brownsville was led by junior Danica Markovic's 13 kills and five aces. In the second game of Pool B, College of Idaho won 3-1, (25-22, 25-16, 15-25, 25-17) over Westmont (Calif.) with Jessica Peacock leading the Lady Yotes with 13 kills.
No. 3 Columbia (Mo.) extended their winning streak to 32 matches today after defeating Carroll (Mont.) in straight sets by scores of 26-24, 25-15 and 25-21. The Cougars were led by returning NAIA All-American setter Paula Ferreira who pounded seven kills while dishing out 40 assists and logging 13 digs. In other Pool C action, the Bison of Oklahoma Baptist defeated Madonna (Mich.) 25-23, 25-18, 22-25 and 26-24. Bison Kristin Pressley posted a match high 19 kills in the win.
Biola (Calif.) was victorious against Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) in the first match of Pool D, as the Eagles won 3-0, (25-23, 25-13, 25-17). Biola had three players in double-digits for kills led by Amy Weststeyn's 12. The Lee (Tenn.) Lady Flames won their first match of pool play by defeating Missouri Baptist, 3-1, (25-27, 25-15, 25-17, 25-14). Pacing the offense for Lee was Marija Zelenovic with 18 kills.
Winning in a five-set thriller, Bellevue (Neb.) defeated fifth seeded Embry-Riddle (Fla.) by scores of 26-28, 25-20, 18-25, 25-11, 15-13. Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year, Jordan Broady, paced the Bruin offense with 51 assists. In another five set thriller in Pool E, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) was victorious against Hastings (Neb.), 3-2, (25-20, 25-22, 23-25, 25-15, 15-13). Linjun Ji and Molly Brewster led the Pioneers with 13 kills apiece.
For the third time this season The Master's (Calif.) and Cal State San Marcos faced off, but this match had a different outcome. The Cougars of Cal State San Marcos claimed the victory, upsetting the sixth ranked Mustangs by scores of 25-22, 25-20 and 25-22. Taylor DeGraaf was the only player in the match to reach double figure kills with 12 for the Cougars. In the Pool F nightcap, Viterbo (Wis.) and Indiana Wesleyan proved to be evenly matched as the contest extended to four sets, with the V-Hawks of Viterbo coming from behind to claim the win, 25-27, 25-23, 25-20 and 25-21. Senior Jordan Blaken had 37 digs to lead the V-Hawks to victory.
Pool play resumes on Wednesday, November 28 at 1 p.m. CST at the Tyson Events Center as all 24 squads return to action. The top-two teams from each of the six pools will move on to single-elimination play beginning on Friday.
Pool Play-Day One
Concordia (Calif.) def. Morningside (Iowa), 3-0 - Box Score
Georgetown (Ky.) def. IU East, 3-2 - Box Score
Texas at Brownsville def. St. Francis (Ill.), 3-0 - Box Score
College of Idaho def. Westmont (Calif.), 3-1 - Box Score
Columbia (Mo.) def. Carroll (Mont.), 3-0 - Box Score
Oklahoma Baptist def. Madonna (Mich.), 3-1 - Box Score
Biola (Calif.) def. Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), 3-0 - Box Score
Lee (Tenn.) def. Missouri Baptist, 3-1 - Box Score
Bellevue (Neb.) def. Embry-Riddle (Fla.), 3-2 - Box Score
MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) def. Hastings (Neb.), 3-2 - Box Score
Cal State San Marcos def. The Master's (Calif.), 3-0 - Box Score
Viterbo (Wis.) def. Indiana Wesleyan, 3-1 - Box Score