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Volleyball drops season opener against Concordia Chicago

AUSTIN, Texas – Concordia University Wisconsin started slow in the opening frame and fought back in the second and third sets before falling 3-0 (6-25, 22-25, 19-25) against Concordia University Chicago at the Concordia Invitational Tournament.

The Falcons traveled over 1,200 miles to begin its season with three matches at the tournament with the first being a non-conference matchup against CUC – also a Northern Athletics Conference rival. With a new starting rotation, sophomore Hannah Griffiths (Antigo, Wis.) stepped up and led the team with five kills, while a trio of players finished with three kills.

Sophomore transfer Carley Valentine (De Pere, Wis.) directed the offense to the tune of 11 assists. The defensive front finished with a 5-1 blocks advantage over the Cougars, with junior Lauren Dumke (Wauwatosa, Wis.) leading the team with five block assists.

CUC (1-0) was led by Claire Mackey's game-high nine kills and Jenna Boggs' game-high 18 assists. A trio of players added eight kills, while Savanna Ashbaugh had 13 assists and Maryl Pinotti dug 10 attack attempts.

The Cougars jumped all over the Falcons (0-1) in the opening set with a 20-3 run. They would take the frame, 25-6, on a Boggs service ace.

The two teams went back and forth in the second and third sets, with neither team leading by more than seven points. The score was knotted at 18-18 in the second set before CUC went on a 7-4 run to take a 2-0 lead. CUC jumped out to an 18-11 lead and hung on to claim the third frame, 25-19, to win the match.

CUW returns to the court on Saturday for a pair of matches. The Falcons play host-Concordia University Texas at 10 a.m. before competing against Concordia University Ann Arbor at 12 p.m.

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