SIOUX CITY, Iowa — It was a matchup of two of the top volleyball teams in the NAIA and neither team disappointed as No. 9 Lee University fell to No. 4 Biola (Calif.) in five sets (18-25, 25-22, 18-25, 25-15, 15-17) Thursday evening. It was the final match of pool play at the NAIA National Tournament for both teams.
Lee survived four match points before finally being put away by the Eagles, 17-15, in the final set. With the victory Biola wins Pool D and advances to the quarterfinal round of the single-elimination bracket tomorrow afternoon. Lee finishes 2-1 in pool play and will also advance in the tournament, having to play Friday morning in the opening round of the bracket.
Junior Irene Ojuwku was her usual steady self registering her second straight double-double. Ojukwu slammed home a match-high 19 kills to go along with 13 digs and four blocks. Three other Lady Flames registered double-figure kills. Paula Martins had 12 slams while Nicole Sumida and Marija Zelenovic added 10 apiece.
Camil Martinez notched 45 assists to set up the Lee attack. Libero Libby Peigen provided the defensive punch, patrolling the back line with 25 digs.
Biola was paced by Christine Douglas with 16 kills. Chelsee Arnitz added 15 kills and five digs and Gracee Gallarda finished with 53 assists for the California club.
With the loss the Lady Flames fall to 30-10 on the year. The victory moves Biola to 30-4.
Day 3 Recap
The 2012 NAIA Volleyball National Championship entered Day 3 of pool play with much to still be determined. Six teams ended the day fighting for their season to continue in tiebreakers that started at 10:15 p.m. and concluded just after midnight.
Concordia (Calif.) extended its winning streak to 35 matches with a 3-1 (28-26, 21-25, 25-15, 25-15) win against IU East. With the victory the Eagles locked up the No. 1 seed for bracket play and a first round bye. Madison Ekis continued dominating as she recorded 26 kills and a hitting percentage of .347.
Georgetown (Ky.) and Morningside (Iowa) met Thursday evening in a win-and-advance match in Pool A. The Tigers swept the Mustangs 29-27, 25-21 and 25-14. Leading the way for the Tigers was Kathryn Smith’s 16 kills and Lindsey Wise’s 16 digs.
No. 2 seed Texas at Brownsville won Pool B after the Scorpions defeated Westmont (Calif.), 3-1 (25-22, 25-19, 23-25, 25-23). The Scorpions were led by Katarina Bursac’s 56 assists and Danic Markovic 23 kills. Markovic recorded a .391 hitting percentage, while the Scorpions collected a .322 team hitting percentage. College of Idaho clinched its second win and a spot in bracket play with a victory over St. Francis (Ill.), 3-0, (25-18, 25-22, 25-18) on Thursday afternoon. Janel Porter led the Lady Yotes with 22 digs while College of Idaho recorded a hitting percentage of .333 and held the Fighting Saints to a .100 team hitting percentage. Sierra Porter collected 36 of the Lady Yotes 38 assists in the match.
While both teams knew they would advance to Friday, Columbia (Mo.) and Oklahoma Baptist were playing for the top seed in Pool C. The Cougars came out on top beating the Lady Bison, 3-2, (25-10, 14-25, 25-18, 21-25, 15-8). Brooke Simpson led the Cougars with a 21 kills, while Paula Ferreira collected 59 assists, both match highs. Skyler Strahm led the Lady Bison with 16 kills. In both team’s final match of the season Madonna (Mich.) defeated Carroll (Mont.), 3-0 (25-13, 25-23, 25-14). The Crusaders were led by Nastija Baranovska’s 16 kills. With the win Head Coach Jerry Abraham collected his 1,005 win, the All-Time Most wins by a volleyball coach in the NAIA.
Closing out its pool play schedule, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) defeated Missouri Baptist in a five set thriller. The Blue Raiders fell down two sets to one before bouncing back to win the last two sets and win the match, 3-2, (25-27, 25-22, 16-25, 25-22, 16-14). Andrea Taylor led the Blue Raiders dishing out 55 assists for Lindsey Wilson.
Embry-Riddle broke into the win column Thursday night as they defeated Hastings 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-23) to force a tie breaker in Pool E. Taylor Martin paced the Eagles with 16 kills and 11 Digs. MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) kept winning in exciting fashion as the Bruins of Bellevue (Neb.) took the Pioneers to five sets. MidAmerica Nazarene won 25-20, 25-21, 17-25, 14-25 and 15-13. Linjun Ji’s double-double led the Pioneers with 14 kills and 14 digs.
The Master’s (Calif.) defeated Indiana Wesleyan, 3-1 (16-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-22) to force a tie breaker in Pool F. The Master’s Samantha Dougherty led the Mustangs with 14 kills and picked up 13 digs for a double-double. Viterbo (Wis.) clinched its spot to advance to Friday as the V-Hawks won Pool F after defeating Cal State San Marcos, 3-2 (23-25, 22-25, 25-18, 25-20, 15-7). The V-Hawks were lead by Alicia Olson’s 22 kills, Stacie Hoffman’s 46 assists and Jordan Blanken’s 26 digs.
Following the conclusion of pool play, The Master’s, Indiana Wesleyan, Cal State San Marcos, Embry Riddle, Hastings and Bellevue all played for the chance to move on to Friday in one-set tie breakers. In Pool E action, Hastings defeated Bellevue 27-25 and went on to defeat Embry Riddle by a score of 26-24 to advance. Pool F saw Cal State San Marcos fall to The Master’s in the tie breaker 25-11. The Master’s then moved on to defeat Indiana Wesleyan 25-18.
Concordia, Texas at Brownsville, Lee and Columbia all received byes to Friday’s quarterfinal rounds. First round matches for bracket play will begin at 10 a.m. Friday morning and winners advance to meet the four teams with byes in the quarterfinals starting at 5:45 p.m. Action will be held at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. Semifinal and championship matches will be held Saturday.