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Eric Peterson, Published October 28 2010

Concordia volleyball team secures MIAC No. 3 seed with five-set victory

Concordia guaranteed itself at least one extra home match with its performance Wednesday.

The Cobbers earned a 25-17, 25-15, 23-25, 16-25, 15-4 victory against Augsburg in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference volleyball at Memorial Auditorium.

Concordia (22-5, 8-2 MIAC) clinched the No. 3 seed for the MIAC playoffs with the victory. The Cobbers host the yet-to-be-determined No. 6 seed next Tuesday in the first round of the conference playoffs. Concordia has won 10 of its past 11 matches.

“Every time we have to go down to the (Twin) Cities, it’s a drag,” Cobbers head coach Tim Mosser said. “To get that first one at home is huge.”

The Cobbers host St. Benedict on Saturday to close out the regular season, but that match has no bearing on Concordia’s seed for the MIAC playoffs.

The Cobbers, ranked fourth in this week’s NCAA Central Region rankings, are also in solid position to make the Division III national tournament.

“We really want to use this last match (vs. St. Ben’s) and the MIAC playoffs to really build the momentum and peak,” Mosser said.

Juniors hitters Jenna Green and Katie Vohnoutka both had strong matches Wednesday vs. Augsburg. Green smacked 11 kills and added a team-high 22 digs. Vohnoutka had 17 kills.

“I think everybody is really on top of their game right now,” Green said. “Everyone is really clicking and everyone is taking their role on and putting forth the effort every match.”

The Cobbers rolled to victory in the first two sets against Augsburg before the Auggies rallied for victories in the third and fourth sets.

“We kind of put it in cruise control, but didn’t step on the gas,” Mosser said. “Set 3, we kind of took it for granted and they’re a good team.”

The Cobbers regained their edge in the deciding set, scoring the first five points in the fifth set. Concordia earned match point on an Augsburg hitting error for a 15-4 victory.

“It was very encouraging to see us really come out and step on the gas and start hard, finish strong,” Mosser said. “That is something we are going to learn from. We have to come out and play hard every set.”

Green was also happy with the way the Cobbers responded after losing their two-set lead.

“We might face a five-set match come (MIAC) playoffs or (NCAA) tournament time and we just know that we can gruel that out and get that fifth set done,” Green said.

AUGSBURG (kills-blocks-aces): McCourt 2-0-1, Christensen 16-1-0, Ourada 11-3-0, Miller 9-6-0, Unze 5-2-0, Lee 7-1-0, Berens 0-0-0, Johnson 0-0-2, Hilk 0-0-0, Barum 0-0-0.

CONCORDIA: Green 11-1-1 (22 digs), Vohnoutka 17-3-0, Sykora 2-0-4 (25 assists), Tastad 3-0-0, Beseman 5-6-0, Bruggeman 8-2-2, Loomis 0-0-0, Hampton 6-0-0, Wiinanen 0-0-0, Christensen 5-0-0, Barkley 0-0-0.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com