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Women's Volleyball: Concordia women score big win over Scorpions

Eagles women's volleyball team improved to 25-0 after taking down top-ranked Texas-Brownsville in five sets on Thursday night.

October 27, 2012|By Joe Haakenson

It was the NAIA women's volleyball version of the immovable object vs. the irresistible force.

Irvine's Concordia University, 24-0 and ranked No. 2 in the nation, played host to the University of Texas-Brownsville, 20-0 and ranked No. 1, Thursday night at CU Arena.

The teams know each other well, their last meeting coming in the NAIA national championship match last season and one in which Brownsville came out on top.

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Concordia went into last year's title game having won 36 matches in a row. Thursday, the Eagles' winning streak was a more modest 24 straight, while Brownsville had won 29 in a row, going back to their regular-season loss last season to, of course, Concordia.

An overflow crowd estimated at 1,700 filled the arena and helped carry the Eagles to a dramatic five-set victory, 24-26, 30-28, 25-20, 20-25, 15-12, improving their season mark to a perfect 25-0.

But before Concordia can consider their title match loss avenged, coach Dan Fisher is quick to put a lid on it. After all, the Eagles beat Brownsville last year in the regular season as well.

"We are trying to keep it in perspective," said Fisher, who is 62-2 as the Eagles' head coach since taking over the program last year. "The thing we take away from the game was we didn't play our best and were still able to win. My setter Liz Younglove said it best; she said last year when we beat them at home it kind of felt like we got lucky, we played as good as we could play.

"This year we won without playing as good as we could. I think the girls felt like we should win and we can beat them regularly."

Concordia still has five more Golden State Athletic Conference matches and two nonconference matches before the NAIA playoffs begin in about five weeks. From there, there's a good chance the two top-ranked teams will wind up meeting again.

"There's a lot of work left to be done but I think that there's a lot of value in knowing you can win every time out and you don't have to be at your absolute best," Fisher said.

So the Eagles played just OK, yet it was good enough to beat the No. 1 team in the nation and the defending national champion.

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