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Concordia sweeps Ave Maria to advance at NAIA volleyball tournament
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NAIA VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT

Concordia sweeps Ave Maria to advance at NAIA volleyball tournament

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Make that three straight postseason trips to Sioux City, Iowa, for the Concordia volleyball team.

The No. 19 Bulldogs got 11 kills from Arleigh Costello and 11 more from Carly Rodaway in a 25-12, 25-23, 25-19 sweep of Ave Maria (Florida) in the opening round of the NAIA Tournament on Saturday in Seward.

With the win, Concordia will head to Sioux City for pool play.

The Bulldogs (17-11) hit .308 while holding Ave Maria (22-8) to .111.

Seward graduate Camryn Opfer added nine kills and 12 digs, and Gabi Nordaker had eight kills on 13 swings.

Concordia reached the national quarterfinals last season and the Round of 16 two years ago.

Concordia has won six of its last seven matches.

“I was proud of the resilience of our team,” Concordia coach Ben Boldt said. “We talk about being tough after 20, and we were certainly that in the second set. We also talk about earning our way there. I think we had that mentality. I was happy to see us take the match into our own hands."

Pool play assignments for the final site will be announced on Sunday. Concordia is one of 24 teams remaining in the field.

Midland 3, Cornerstone Christian 0: Abbey Ringler slammed 12 kills and Taliyah Flores had 11 kills and 11 digs to lead the Warriors to a 25-13, 25-10, 25-16 victory in Fremont.

After nearly two weeks off from their most recent match, Midland showed little signs of rust as they took the opening set of the match. 

Midland (24-5), which finished national runner-up last season, held Cornerstone (24-15) to .035 hitting, and had a 46-22 advantage in kills.

Lincoln Lutheran graduate Hope Leimbach had a match-high 34 assists and 14 digs. Cortlyn Schaefer had nine kills and Lauryn Samuelson chipped in eight for the Warriors.

“I’m really proud of how our team responded today after a low point in the season in their last outing,” coach Paul Giesselmann said. “After almost two weeks off, the girls were really focused on the little details today and were driven to get back to Sioux City.”

Bellevue 3, Edward Waters 0: Millard North graduate Eve Fountain ad 13 kills and 11 digs and Sierra Athen had 12 kills and eight digs to lead the Bruins to a 25-16, 25-12, 25-20 home sweep.

Bellevue (24-7) hit .300 in the first set, .371 in the second and .394 in the third. Edward Waters (24-7) hit .058 for the match.

College of Saint Mary 3, Florida National 0: Lexie Langley, Rosa Reed-Bouley and Makenna Freeman each had nine kills to lead the Flames to a 25-17, 28-26, 25-14 victory in Omaha.

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