By Travis Rae, Communications and Sports Information Intern
SIOUX CITY, Iowa - (Box Score) Winning in a five set thriller was Columbia (Mo.) as the Cougars defeated defending National Champion Texas at Brownsville, (3-2) (22-25, 27-25, 25-16, 27-29, 15-7) in the 2012 Volleyball National Championship presented by CNOS Foundation. Tonight's championship match will be the eighth time the Cougars have appeared in the championship match.
The Scorpions took a 1-0 lead in the match after they pulled away for a 25-22 win in a back-and-forth opening set. The Cougars battled back to take the next two sets for a 2-1 advantage in the match. Neither team led by more than two points in the second set, but Columbia would claim back-to-back points for a 27-25 win after Texas at Brownsville tied the score at 25. The Cougars used an 8-2 spurt to open up set three and take the third game 25-16.
Facing elimination, the Scorpions stayed alive with a thrilling 29-27 victory in the fourth set after falling behind 6-1, setting up a winner take-all fifth set.
Columbia never trailed in the deciding game, jumping out to a 6-1 lead and clinching the match with a 15-7 win.
Junior Kahoriz Feliz led the Cougars with 19 kills for the match. Columbia received 14 kills and 21 digs from Brooke Simpson, and 12 kills from Trinity Ojo. Texas at Brownsville was led by Danica Markovic with 17 kills.
With the win, Columbia extends its winning streak to 36 matches. Columbia advances to the championship match tonight at 8 p.m. to face Concordia (Calif.).