ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Behind a strong hitting performance in the first two sets and a strong blocking effort late, Augsburg won its first NCAA Division III national-tournament match, a four-set sweep of Pacific Lutheran.

Appearing in its second national tournament and first since 1982, the Auggies improved to 29-4 overall with the four-set win against Pacific Lutheran (19-6) by scores of 25-16, 26-24, 19-25 and 25-18. 

With the win, Augsburg will advance to play the winner of Thursday's final match in the St. Paul regional, either defending national champion St. Thomas (Minn.) or Northwestern-St. Paul on Friday. The regional final will be on Saturday, with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals in Holland, Mich.

Augsburg sprinted out to a 2-0 lead after the first two sets, hitting .500 (15 kills, one error in 28 attempts) in the first set and .406 (17 kills, four errors in 32 attempts) in the second set. After giving up the third set to the Lutes, the Auggies collected five team blocks and took advantage of 13 attack errors by the Lutes in the final set.