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Eric Peterson, Published October 30 2012

Cobbers advance to MIAC volleyball semifinals

MOORHEAD – The Concordia Cobbers scored 12 of the first 14 points in the first set Tuesday night at Memorial Auditorium.

The Concordia roll never slowed from that point.

Kynndyl Ross and Olivia Wangensteen combined for 24 kills as Concordia cruised to a 25-13, 25-13, 25-17 victory against Bethel in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference volleyball quarterfinals.

“We were all playing as a team, we had a lot of really good positive energy and we were all working together,” said Ross, who had a match-high 13 kills.

The Cobbers (13-10) advanced to the MIAC semifinals for a fourth consecutive season. No. 3 seed Concordia plays at 7 p.m. Thursday at No. 2 seed St. Benedict.

“It was hitting on all cylinders from the get-go,” Cobbers head coach Tim Mosser said. “Kynndyl was amazing. She’s always a great option for us, and she played with a lot of confidence tonight.”

Ross finished off four of Concordia’s first five points of the first set. The Cobbers took a 12-2 lead after junior middle hitter Kayla Hampton’s service ace. The 5-foot-11 Ross had five kills during that opening sequence that sparked a 25-13 triumph in the opening set. The sophomore outside hitter from McIntosh, Minn., had six kills in the first set. Wangensteen had seven.

The Cobbers rode that early momentum into the second set, racing to a 7-1 lead. Ross had two kills during that scoring burst that led to a 25-13 win in the second set.

The Cobbers took control of the third set with a 15-3 surge that led to a 19-10 lead. Ross capped that flurry with a tip kill. Concordia earned match point with Hampton and Angie Waller combining on a block. That secured a 25-17 victory to complete the sweep.

“It’s good to keep the momentum going so they never have a chance to get back into the game,” said Ross, who finished with a .565 hitting percentage.

Ross credited both senior setter Danelle Loomis and senior libero Rachel Wiinanen for making the offense run smooth.

“Our setter is really good,” Ross said. “When the sets are there, then there’s a lot that I can do with it. I really have to thank my setter. … Rachel is really good at calling spots so she tells us where to hit.”

Mosser hopes his team can duplicate Tuesday’s performance moving forward. The victory puts the Cobbers in good position to earn an at-large bid into the NCAA Division III tournament.

“If we can play like this the whole postseason, we could go deep into the NCAA playoffs,” Mosser said.

BETHEL (kills-blocks-aces): Johnson 0-1-0, Nickel 0-0-0 (19 assists), Helle 7-2-0, Baumetz 9-1-0, Ackatz 4-0-0, Deberry 2-0-0, Smith 0-0-1 (18 digs), Rundquist 0-0-0, McKown 1-0-0, Van Wyk 0-0-1.

CONCORDIA: Loomis 0-0-0 (28 assists), Hampton 6-6-1, Wangensteen 11-2-0, Reed 7-1-0, Ross 13-0-0, Waller 4-2-2, Bommersbach 0-0-0, Schmidt 0-0-0, Beaner 0-0-0, Wiinanen 0-0-0 (17 digs), Skow-Anderson 2-2-0.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com