Concordia-Moorhead sweeps Bethel
Cobbers avenge loss, advance to second round after sweep
MOORHEAD, Minn. -- Concordia-Moorhead avenged a regular-season loss by sweeping Bethel 25-23, 25-22, 25-18 in the Moorhead Regional semifinal on Saturday. The Cobbers now advance to the regional final for the second time in school history.
After having its only MIAC loss handed to them by the Royals in the 2011 campaign, the Cobbers came out hungry to return the favor to Bethel in the NCAA tournament. The first set showcased Jenna Green of Concordia, who tallied six kills and seven digs. Bethel combated the Cobber effort with Nicole Wriedt, who tallied four kills herself, alongside Caitie Helle , who mustered three kills. Kate Smith recorded eight set assists, however, it wasn't enough as Concordia never allowed Bethel to taste the lead in the first set. At one point Bethel was down 17-9 and the Royals looked to be making its move with a 9-2 run, yet Bethel could only manage five ties in the set, falling 25-23.
In the second set Bethel grabbed its first lead of the match when the scoreboard read 7-6, yet the two teams steadied themselves throughout the next several rallies. In the second set alone the two opponents totaled ten tie scores and six lead changes. Bethel carried a narrow lead late, but the Cobbers ate up the home crowd advantage and plunged ahead of the Royals in the end 25-22. BU struggled against Concordia's defense in the second, as the team tallied a .024 attacking percentage. Wriedt added three more to her resume, alongside Amy Werner who added four. Smith tallied ten assists in the second as well as two kills.
Concordia came out even more aggressive in the third, claiming the 6-1 advantage early. Yet despite the Royals four point run, CC was unshakeable. The closest Bethel came was a 20-17 late in the set, but it wouldn't be enough as the Cobbers finished the third ahead 25-18.
Nicole Wriedt led the Royals for the second night in a row with eight kills. Junior Amy Werner finished with six fills and four digs, while Caitie Helle managed five kills and a .308 attacking percentage.
Junior libero Valerie Smith hustled to accumulate 21 digs, while posting two sets and one service ace. Mallory Rundquist and Rachel Bloom both contributed a solid effort defensively with 12 kills each.
Bethel finishes its season 23-10 after advancing to its fourth NCAA tournament. The Royals are now 3-4 in the NCAA tournament over its entire program history, after a win against Northwestern and a loss to Concordia.