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Just Out of Reach

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October 25, 2008
Gary Pine
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AZUSA, Calif. -- The NAIA’s No. 2-ranked Concordia rallied from a 2-1 set deficit by using a 40-24 run over the final 2 sets to beat No. 9 Azusa Pacific, 25-19, 18-25, 22-25, 25-14, 15-10 in a Golden State Athletic Conference match in the Felix Event Center Saturday afternoon.

All-American senior Traci Weamer led the Eagle comeback with a match-high 19 kills, including 11 in Concordia’s 3 set victories. Senior Stephanie Scheele added 11 kills, while junior Chelsea Scott led a stellar Concordia defense, tallying 35 of the Eagles’ hefty 76 digs.

Azusa Pacific rolled out to a 2-1 advantage by controlling play in sets 2 and 3. All-American Jill Baker registered 13 in those 2 sets on her way to a team-high 19 for the match.

However, Concordia began to turn the tide by moving out to a 6-2 lead in set 4.

“We definitely wanted to end the match in the fourth game,” said Baker, “but they played better and pushed us out of our rhythm. That’s where as a team we need to step up and fight back.”

The Cougars looked sluggish in the fourth set, surrendering a 7-0 run that gave CUI a 14-7 lead.

“Our passing broke down and we didn’t have as many options for hitters,” added Baker. “Concordia is a very mature team and they have confidence in themselves that they can pull through. That’s where we have to get to in the future.”

The fifth set had little suspense to it as Concordia scored 9 of the first 11 points, with Weamer picking up a couple of kills along the way. The Cougars pulled back to within 3 at 12-9 but kills by Lauren Evans, Serrina Russo and Christine Douglas clinched the Eagle victory.

It’s hard to give everything you have and come up short like that,” said Baker, “but on the other hand it’s a good feeling to know you can compete with the best in the nation.”

With the victory, Concordia improves to 22-3 overall, 11-3 in the GSAC. Azusa Pacific falls to 18-8 overall, 8-6 in the GSAC.