Volleyball National Championship Semifinals Recap
By Colbi Howser, Communications and Sports Information Intern
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – (Full Schedule | Bracket) It’s an American Midwest Conference showdown after No. 3 Missouri Baptist and No. 4 Columbia (Mo.) swept their opponents in semifinal matches earlier today, including the Cougars taking down No. 1 overall Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and the Spartans overpowering No. 2 Viterbo (Wis.).
The championship final, which is to be played tonight at 7 p.m. CST, will air for the second time on ESPN3. To access the match, visit www.ESPN3.com.
For the first time in school history, Missouri Baptist is on their way to the championship match after knocking off higher seed No. 2 Viterbo is three sets (25-20, 25-18, 25-15). The Spartans made quick work of the V-Hawks with help from junior Mallory Dillon who not only had success at the net, but in the back row recording 24 kills.
Mallory enters the final ranked first at the national championship with 107 kills. Teammate Ally Krus also leads the nation in assists with 264.
Viterbo ends their season with 40-5 record.
No. 4 Columbia pulled the second upset of the day, defeating No. 1 Lindsey Wilson. Columbia jumped out to a six-point lead to start the second game after a closely contested first but the Blue Raiders battled for every point and eventually tied the game up at 19. The Cougars pulled away with the 25-23 victory to take the 2-0 lead in the match. Lindsey Wilson jumped ahead in the third game but Penny Liu and the Cougars were just too much for the Blue Raiders as they took a one point lead at 13-12 and didn’t look back, sweeping the top-seeded squad. Liu was the only Cougar in double figures with 20 kills.
The Blue Raiders fall in their first ever semifinal matches and end their season at 36-4.
The last time the Cougars and Spartans faced each other was the American Midwest Conference championship game on Nov. 14 ending in a win for Columbia in five sets.
For more information on the NAIA Volleyball National Championship, click here.