NAIA: Cardinal Stritch Advances to Semis Past Wildcats

4/17/2009

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PARKVILLE, Mo. - Cardinal Stritch University posted the first shut-out victory of the 2009 NAIA Men's Volleyball National Invitational Tournament and in the process eliminated Johnson and Wales University, defeating the Wildcats 30-22, 30-22, 30-27 Friday at Breckon Sports Center in Parkville, Mo.

Stritch (22-5) used 10 kills from Vladimir Frenc and 31 assists by Garrett Payne, while JWU (14-13) had 11 kills from Komakana Fernandez.

Johnson and Wales kept it close through the first two-thirds of the opening set, cutting the Wolves' lead to one at 17-16, but Cardinal Stritch used a 13-6 run to end the opening set, getting a service ace from Frenc to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

Stritch stretched its lead to 2-0 in the match in the second set after falling behind early. Johnson and Wales took a 15-13 lead on a kill by Curtis Oliver, but an Austin Cass kill and a Wildcat error turned the lead over to the Wolves, 19-17, and Cardinal Stritch added another point on another kill by Cass to go up 20-17.

The Wolves finished the set on a 10-5 run, ending the set on a Scott Golden kill.

Johnson and Wales took a big lead to open the third set, going up 11-7 on Jorden Smith's kill before moving the advantage to 14-9, but an 11-5 run by the Wolves caused the lead to switch hands when back-to-back errors made it 20-19 Stritch.

Mirko Jankovic put the Wolves up four late, 29-25, and despite a pair of late Wildcat scores, Frenc finished the match for Cardinal Stritch, hitting the bottom of the floor for a 30-27 victory.

The win advanced Cardinal Stritch into the tournament semifinals, where the Wolves will meet Lindenwood Friday at 7 p.m. inside Breckon Sports Center.

Article courtesy of Park athletics.

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