Columbia College Advances to NAIA Volleyball Championship
SIOUX CITY, IA -- The Columbia College volleyball team earned a 3-2 victory over the University of Texas at Brownsville on Saturday afternoon in the semifinals of the NAIA National Volleyball Championships. The Cougars, the No. 3 overall seed, defeated the second seeded Scorpions by scores of 22-25, 27-25, 25-16, 27-29, and 15-7. Columbia improves to 42-1 on the year with their 36th straight victory and advances to Saturday night's NAIA National Championship match against top seed Concordia (Calif.) University. Texas at Brownsville ends the season with a record of 30-2.
The Scorpions took a 1-0 lead in the match after they pulled away for a 25-22 win in a back-and-forth opening set. The Cougars battled back to take the next two sets for a 2-1 advantage in the match. Neither team led by more than two points in the second set, but Columbia would claim back-to-back points for a 27-25 win after Brownsville tied the score at 25. The Cougars used an 8-2 spurt to open up set three and take the third game 25-16.
Facing elimination, the Scorpions stayed alive with a thrilling 29-27 victory in the fourth set after falling behind 6-1, setting up a winner take-all fifth set.
Columbia never trailed in the deciding game, jumping out to a 6-1 lead and clinching the match with a 15-7 win.
Junior Kahoriz Feliz led the Cougars with 19 kills for the match. Columbia received 14 kills and 21 digs from Brooke Simpson, and 12 kills from Trinity Ojo. Carol Berger and Kelly Corkum were also in double figures with 10 kills apiece for the Cougars. Paula Ferreira led all players with 54 assists to go along with 22 digs and four service aces, while Elena Berroteran posted a match-high 34 digs.
Texas at Brownsville was led by Danica Markovic with 17 kills.
Columbia and Concordia will match up Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. as the Cougars go for their fourth NAIA National Championship.