AURORA, Ill. – Concordia Wisconsin was in control early, leading two sets to none, but top-seeded Aurora came back strong to win the NACC Tournament Championship 3-2 (22-25, 18-25, 25-19, 25-21, 15-8) on Saturday night inside Thornton Gymnasium.
Final Score: Aurora 3, Concordia Wisconsin 2 (22-25, 18-25, 25-19, 25-21, 15-8)
Location: Thornton Gymnasium (Aurora, Ill.)
Records: Aurora 23-8, Concordia Wisconsin 19-10
HOW IT HAPPENED
- It was a familiar sight, with Concordia Wisconsin and Aurora meeting for the third consecutive year, playing for the NACC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Falcons offense was on point during the opening two sets hitting .125 and .268 to take control and lead 2-0 over the top-seeded Spartans.
- After trailing 8-5 in the initial stages of the contest, Concordia Wisconsin strung together seven unanswered points to swing the momentum in its favor. During the run, senior Amanda Schultz (North Prairie, Wis.) had a pair of kills, while junior Kendall Stribling (Greenfield, Wis.) and freshman Madelyn Alton (Custer Park, Ill.) each had a kill. The lead would hover around five points until they eventually won 25-22.
- The Falcons were flying high to being the second set, charging out to an 11-6 lead before extending it to 20-13. They would continue their strong efforts until the scoreboard read 25-18, which gave them a 2-0 lead in the highly intense matchup.
- Aurora finally came to life in the third set, turning an 11-5 deficit into a 14-13 advantage midway through. The momentum would stay with an 11-6 scoring run to extend the match another frame.
- The energy inside Thornton Gymnasium was favoring one side and the Spartans used it to take the fourth set 25-21, which included scoring the final four points.
- The fifth set was all Aurora, who celebrated with a 15-8 set win a 3-2 victory to take the NACC Tournament Championship.
- Alton led the Falcons with 15 kills and 23 digs, while junior Megan Mayer (Downers Grove, Ill.) posted 14 kills and 11 digs. Schultz recorded 11 kills and three block assists in the final match of her career.
- Senior setters Mackenzie Wockenfus (Appleton, Wis.) and Haley Sedo (Neenah, Wis.) concluded their careers with 30 and 22 assists, respectively. Wockenfus also had 16 digs for a double-double.
- Stribling led the defensive efforts up the middle with four block assists, to go along with seven kills and two service aces.
- NACC Player of the Year Katie Vondra had 18 kills, 22 digs, three block assists and two service aces for Aurora.
- Imani Freeman and Karli Chambers posted 14 kills and 13 kills, respectively. Emily Lines had 51 assists and 22 digs, while Lindsey Simpson recorded nine block assists.
- The Falcons ended with 14 block assists, which was the 22nd time they had double-digit block assists in a match this season.
- Sedo ends her career ranked fifth all-time in program history with 1,582 assists, while also ranking eighth with 93 service aces.
- Wockenfus concludes her four years ranked ninth with 1,159 assists.
- Schultz ends her career with 709 kills (ninth all-time) and her .229 attack percentage is sixth all-time program history.
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