MEQUON, Wis. – Concordia University Wisconsin's five seniors excited the crowd on Wednesday night with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-18) victory over Marian University to clinch the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Tournament.
It was the fourth-consecutive win for the Falcons and 11 of their last 12 victories have been decided by sweep. CUW has lost just two sets in October having played a total of 23 sets. MU (9-17, 5-5 NACC) tied the score 11 times throughout the match and slightly challenged the Falcons in the first set.
Freshman Ashley Jehlicka (Salem, Wis.) was a kill shy of another triple-double and ended with nine kills, 11 assists and 10 digs. Freshman Kaily Moegenburg (Plymouth, Wis.) added nine kills, while senior Hannah Griffiths (Antigo, Wis.) posted six kills and a match-high-tying 15 digs.
Defensively, junior Kelsa Rubeck (Eau Claire, Wis.) added nine digs and senior Erin Howard (Labadie, Mo.) dug eight attack attempts. Senior Britta Duchow (Potter, Wis.) recorded two block assists and a solo block. Freshman Lauren Nevinski (New Berlin, Wis.) ended with five block assists.
Kathryn Braunling led the Sabres with seven kills, while Catelyn Brehm and Elizabeth Zuelke each had five kills. Amber Baker posted a match-best 24 assists and 15 digs. Katrina Jansen and Brehm combined for 24 digs. Zuelke led all players with three solo blocks.
After a 9-9 tie in the opening set, CUW rattled off a 7-1 scoring run to take control. MU slowly responded to get within a point, 19-18, but it was a trio of seniors who kept the momentum in favor of the Falcons. Senior Mary Heinz (Clintonville, Wis.) smashed the deciding kill to give CUW a 25-22 set one win.
With freshman Amanda Lehnerz (West Bend, Wis.) serving, the Falcons put together five-straight points to own a favorable 13-7 lead midway through the second frame. CUW's lead dwindled to two points, 16-14, which forced a timeout, but it took advantage of three-consecutive MU errors in the end to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Back-to-back kills by Griffiths elevated the Falcons to a 22-16 advantage, prior to them sweeping the Sabres with a third set 25-18 win. Senior Carley Valentine (De Pere, Wis.) recorded five of her 10 assists in the deciding set.
CUW returns to the road on Saturday for a 2 p.m. NACC match at Aurora University.