No. 1 Concordia St. Paul Falls to No. 4 Cal State-San Bernardino

8/28/2008

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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -Top-ranked Concordia University volleyball (0-1) was downed 3-0 in their season debut by a worthy opponent, No. 4-ranked Cal State San Bernardino (1-0). The Coyotes jumped out to an early lead and used a .310 hitting average to complete the win in three straight games, 25-19, 25-23, 25-17. The Golden Bears continue play in California with two matches on Friday, facing #22 UC San Diego at 2:00 pm CT and #15 Lewis at 7:00 pm CT.

The Golden Bears hung tight with the Coyotes through much of the way in the first two games, but CU hitting errors and strong front row action by CSUSB gave the final edge to the home team. Concordia had a 17-16 lead in the opening game of the season before the Coyotes went on an 8-2 streak to take the game 25-19 under the new 25-point scoring format.

It was an uphill climb for the defending national champions in the first half of the second game. CSUSB forced a Concordia timeout at 9-4 and led 16-10 before the Golden Bear attackers got CU back in the game. A quick run was capped by serving wonder Mary Slinger, who aced the Coyotes three times to tie the game at 19 each. The main hitting attraction of the evening was CSUSB's Jessica Granados, who rattled off a number of kills to give her team the edge and eventually nab the 25-23 win.

Down two games to none, the Golden Bears were a bit untied in the final game and trailed by as many as 11 points. They made a late run with strong serving from freshman Ellie Duffy, but it was too little too late as the Coyotes walked away with a huge win.

The Golden Bears went head-to-head with their opponent in blocks (5-6) and digs (43-45), but a mere .150 hitting average made success difficult. Senior Whitney Meierotto walked away with a team high 11 kills and added seven digs and three blocks. Junior Raina Hein and senior Maria Steinhagen were next in line with six kills each. Slinger topped all players with 15 digs in the match and also had three aces. The team totaled seven aces in the match. Maggie McNamara had assists on 29 of 33 kills.

CSU San Bernardino was paced by Granados with 23 kills and a .486 hitting average. She and Meierotto were the only players to mark double figures on offense in the season opener for both teams. The Coyotes swung at a .310 rate and had five ace serves.

Article courtesy of Concordia St. Paul athletics.

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