By Travis Rae, Communications and Sports Information Intern
Photo Courtesy of Steve Paulson
SIOUX CITY, Iowa - (Schedule/Results) (Bracket) Just four teams are left standing in the 2012 NAIA Volleyball National Championship presented by the CNOS Foundation after first-round and quarterfinal-round play concluded on Friday. Biola (Calif.), Columbia (Mo.), Concordia (Calif.) and Texas at Brownsville each punched their tickets to Saturday's semifinals in Sioux City, Iowa, by navigating through the first day of bracket play.
In the first round games, played Friday morning, No. 8 seed Hastings (Neb.) overcame a slow start to defeat No. 9 Lee (Tenn.), 3-1 (15-25, 25-23, 25-17, 25-20). After dropping the first set, the Broncos battled back to win the next three as Kendra Schwein recorded a match-high 21 kills and also picked up 10 digs while Kirsten Nickel chipped in with 12 kills.
MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) continued its hot play as it swept College of Idaho, 26-24, 25-19, 25-23, to advance to quarterfinal play. Linjun Ji collected 11 kills and 12 digs, while Taryn Salum dished out 30 assists for the Pioneers.
The winning streak of the V-Hawks of Viterbo (Wis.) was extended to eight matches after they won in straight-sets (25-21, 25-16, 25-22) against Georgetown (Ky.). Stacie Hoffman paced the offense for the V-Hawks with 30 assists and Katie Flock and Alicia Olsonhad 14 and 10 kills, respectively.
The last team to clinch a spot in the quarterfinals was Oklahoma Baptist with a 3-1 (27-25, 25-27, 25-22, 25-22) victory over The Master's (Calif.). The Lady Bison had four players in double-figures with kills led by Kristin Pressley's 18 kills. Pressley also added 14 digs.
No. 1 Concordia became the first team to move onto the semifinals as it extended its winning streak to 36 matches, defeating No. 8 Hastings, 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-19). Maddy Ekis and Jessica Israel led the way for the Eagles as Ekis recorded 15 kills and Israel added 10 more. Hastings never could get on a roll and hit only .086 as a team.
Led by a balanced offensive attack No. 4 Biola (Calif.) took down No. 5 MidAmerica Nazarene, 3-1 (25-16, 16-25, 25-23, 25-20). Christine Douglas led the Eagles offense with 16 kills, while Amy Weststeyn followed with 15 kills of her own. Douglas recorded a .519 hitting percentage for the game leading the Eagles. As a team the Eagles had a .248 hitting percentage. With the win, Biola will face Golden State Athletic Conference foe and No. 1 seed Concordia in the first semifinal game tomorrow at 10 a.m.
Third seed Columbia punched its ticket to its third straight semifinal trip after defeating Viterbo 3-1 (25-21, 25-21, 16-25, 25-18). The Cougars had three players record double-figure kills in the match led by Brooke Simpson's 16. Paula Ferreira dished out 51 of Columbia's 57 assists and had 14 digs in the victory.
Picking up the last semifinal spot was Texas at Brownsville. The defending National Champions defeated tenth seed Oklahoma Baptist, 3-1, (29-27, 25-27, 25-14, 25-18). Freshman setter, Katarina Bursac was the catalyst of the Scorpions offense as she dished out 53 assists. Seventeen of those assists came on kills by Michelle Marques, who led Texas at Brownsville with a hitting percentage of .349. Marques also collected a match-high 25 digs.
The first National Championship semifinal match between Concordia and Biola will be held at 10 a.m. CST on Saturday, followed by the second semifinal match between Texas at Brownsville and Columbia at 12:30 p.m. CST. The winners will meet in the championship final at 8 p.m. CST at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
Of the four remaining teams, only Columbia and Texas at Brownsville has ever won a national championship. Concordia has three second-place finishes while Biola has two.
No. 8 Hastings (Neb.) def. No. 9 Lee (Tenn.), 3-1 - Box Score
No. 5 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) def. No. 12 College of Idaho, 3-0 - Box Score
No. 6 Viterbo (Wis.) def. No. 11 Georgetown (Ky.), 3-0 - Box Score
No. 10 Oklahoma Baptist def. No. 7 The Master's (Calif.), 3-1 - Box Score
No. 1 Concordia (Calif.) def. No. 8 Hastings (Neb.), 3-0 - Box Score
No. 4 Biola (Calif.) def. No. 5 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), 3-1 - Box Score
No. 3 Columbia (Mo.) def. No. 6 Viterbo (Wis.), 3-1 - Box Score
No. 2 Texas at Brownsville def. No. 10 Oklahoma Baptist, 3-1 - Box Score