Large Point Streaks Come Back To Haunt

Senior Mandy Mercil goes up for one of her five kills in the Cobbers' MIAC playoff match at St. Thomas. (Pic courtesy of Haley Staffon - UST Sports Information)
Senior Mandy Mercil goes up for one of her five kills in the Cobbers' MIAC playoff match at St. Thomas. (Pic courtesy of Haley Staffon - UST Sports Information)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (11/01/16)---Large point streaks by opponents proved costly in the regular season and they took their toll in the first match of the postseason as well.

An 11-0 run at the start of the second set changed the complexion of the Cobbers' MIAC quarterfinal match at St. Thomas and sent Concordia to a 3-0 (25-22, 25-13, 25-14) defeat.

The Cobbers had built up momentum at the end of the first set as they finished the opener on an 8-4 streak. CC carried that energy into the second set and led 4-3 before the Tommies finished off the upset hopes with 11 straight points.

The loss finishes Concordia's season at 9-18. St. Thomas earns its sixth straight sweep and is now 22-7 on the year and will play at Gustavus in the MIAC semifinals.

All season long the Cobbers had fallen to large point streak by their opponents and that came into play in the first match of the postseason. The first set started out with the teams trading points until 4-3. UST then won 11 of the next 15 points to take a 15-7 lead. Concordia's turnaround in the first set came with the score at 20-9. CC rattled off five straight points and eventually got to within four at 22-18. The Cobbers won two straight points after the Tommies had taken a 24-20 lead but couldn't stave off a third match point and lost 25-22.

Concordia jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second set and then led 4-3 before St. Thomas turned the match in their favor with the streak of 11 consecutive points.

The third set was the same as the second. The teams traded points at the onset with UST leading 3-2. The Tommies then went on a 6-1 run. The Cobbers battled and were within four at 14-10 but then one final 9-1 run sealed the match.

Concordia finished with a .110 attack percentage for the match. The Cobbers hit .200 in the first set but then fell off after that. St. Thomas hit at least .267 in all three sets, had a match-high .486 hitting mark in the third set and finished with a .380 mark.

Freshman Brianna Carney led all players with 13 kills. She hit .200 and also had one block. Senior Jena Klaphake had 36 assists and nine digs in her final match in maroon and gold. Fellow senior Mandy Mercil recorded a team-high 12 digs.

Emma Chandler had eight kills as she and Carney combined for 21 of the team's 37 winners in the match. Junior Stephanie Baker posted 10 digs as CC put up 42 digs in the match.