Sept. 11, 2009

ST. PAUL, Minn. - With a 3-0 decision over Dowling College (5-2) on Friday evening, the Concordia University volleyball team set a new NCAA Division II record for consecutive matches won, marking 47 straight wins dating back to August 29, 2008. The Golden Bears took 37 straight wins en route to a 2008 national championship and have started the 2009 campaign at 10-0. They aim to increase their record as they host Augustana College in a non-conference meeting on Saturday at 4:00 pm.

The Golden Bears had a worthy opponent in the Golden Lions of Dowling College. Both squads displayed fireworks offensively, but Concordia used a 14 kill edge to take the win (25-23, 25-18, 25-17). They had 47 total kills in the match, including 11 from outside hitter and sophomore Megan Carlson and 10 from junior middle hitter Emily Palkert. Defense eventually proved to be the difference maker, however, as the Golden Bears continually forced up digs to save rallies and allow their offense to go to work. Mary Slinger led all players with 14 digs.

Dowling College actually had the edge in hitting percentage following the first set, but the Golden Bears snuck out just enough kills to take the 25-23 victory. Carlson and Palkert each tabbed five kills while setter Maggie McNamara served up an incredible 16 assists.

The Golden Bears flexed their muscles more in the second set, totaling 18 kills for their 25 points. Dowling had a strong blocking set with three roofs, but they only put 11 kills past the Concordia defense. The Golden Bears sealed the victory by out-hitting Dowling in the third set and also stuffing four big blocks back into the Golden Lion court.

Carlson and Palkert were the leading hitters who went into double figures in kills, but they also saw strong performances from Sadie Kessler (9), Kasey Woodcock (9) and Kara Pioske (8). Woodcock was especially present in the final set, tabbing five of the team's 13 kills and finishing the match with a team high .533 hitting average. The squad put up five ace serves and 42 total digs, including Slinger's 14. McNamara had 43 assists on the evening, an average of 14.33 per set. She led the nation last season with just over 13 assists per set.

The Golden Lion hitters were led by Maja Potpara with eight kills, followed by Patrycja Klekotka with seven. The team hit .222 to CU's .277 but were able to come up with only 31 digs. They matched the Golden Bears with 6.0 team blocks.