Sept. 11, 2009

Courtesy of Concordia Athletics

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Outside hitter Megan Carlson dropped down 14 kills with a .414 hitting average to lead the Golden Bears of Concordia University (9-0) to their 46th consecutive win, tying a 25-year old NCAA Division II record.  #1 Concordia took Bemidji State (3-7) by a score of 3-0 (25-17, 25-9, 25-23) in the season opener at the Radisson-Roseville Classic.  The Golden Bears take on Dowling College with the opportunity to set a new wins record at 7:30 pm at the Gangelhoff Center. 

The 46 straight wins for the Golden Bear volleyball team dates back to the second match of the 2008 season, played on Aug. 29, 2008.  Since then, the Golden Bears notched 37 straight wins to win the NCAA National Championship and have gone 9-0 in 2009.  They are matched with Ferris State in the records book, with Ferris setting their record during the 1984 season.

Emily Palkert got things rolling in the right direction for the Golden Bears in their home opener, driving down six kills in eight attempts (6-0-8) for a .750 average in the first set.  Carlson also went without a hitting error in the set (5-0-11).  The Beavers hung with the Golden Bears for a good portion of play, finishing set 1 with a .286 average, but Concordia was playing at a completely higher level throughout most of the victory.

The squad completed the sweeping win in just under an hour, including an exceptionally quick and thorough 25-9 second set.  Ellie Duffy reared back from the service line for 10 straight points, including four aces to bring the score to 18-3.  Kills were spread out between various members of the Concordia offense and Beaver hitting problems made playing defense an ease.

The Golden Bears wrapped up a .321 hitting performance with a team high 14 kills from Carlson to go with her eight digs and four blocks.  Palkert had 12 kills and a .526 average with three blocks, while rookie Cassie Haag led the team with five blocks.  Sadie Kessler was the third player to finish in double figures for kills with 11. 

Other highlights for the Golden Bears in the win included Maggie McNamara dishing out 42 assists for 47 of the team's kills.  Duffy pulverized the Beaver receiving campaign with six aces throughout the match.  Mary Slinger paced the defense with 12 digs. 

Bemidji State was led by Bethany Thompson with seven of the team's 30 kills.  Setter Courtney Bitter took 12 digs for her team, followed by libero Samantha Hertaus with 10.