Sept. 5, 2010

* Courtesy of Concordia St Paul Athletics

TAMPA, Fla. - Concordia's streak of 75 straight wins may have came to a close Friday afternoon but they have extended their streak to 36 straight against ranked opponents. The Golden Bears (3-1) beat the #3 Tampa University Spartans 3-1 (13-25, 27-25, 25-23, 25-21). The Golden Bears were led offensively by Emily Palkert and Cassie Haag.

Palkert had 17 kills on the evening and Haag was close behind with 16. Kayla Koenecke once again had a great game with 13 kills, 13 digs, five assists and two solo blocks. Amanda Konetchy handed out 48 assists along with six digs. The Golden Bears defense stepped up and had 57 digs on the evening. Libero Taylor Fieldsted led the way with 19 digs, a new career high.

Tampa jumped out early on the Golden Bears in the first set to take a quick 5-2 and forced a timeout to try to get a stop to the Spartan momentum. On the play after the timeout Tampa served the ball out of bounds but Tampa kept rolling and got out to a 12-6 lead. Concordia again had to take a timeout after they fell behind 15-8. Concordia rattled off a few quick points but they never caught up to the Spartans who took set one 25-13.

The second set was much better for the Golden Bears. The Spartans and Golden Bears traded points back and forth all set long. Tampa held a one point lead most of the way and although it was close Concordia was not able to get a lead until a 21-20 late in the set that forced a Spartans timeout. Concordia took a 23-21 lead which forced another Tampa timeout. The Spartans tied the game at 23 following back to back kills by Melissa Vanderhall and Concordia took a turn attempting to kill the momentum by taking a timeout. Tampa scored again following the timeout to take a 24-23 lead. CU tied it at 24 after a kill by Haag. Koenecke made it 25-24 a moment later but Tampa tied it at 25. A kill by Haag forced another game point and a kill by Koenecke gave the Golden Bears a 27-25 victory.

Set three was another close battle that saw many long rallies and great defense. Tampa was able to take 11-7 lead midway through the set but CU battled back and held a slight lead at 18-16 after a couple attack errors by Tampa. Tampa quickly tied the set up at 18 following two hard kills. After the two team traded points for awhile, Tampa forced a CU timeout with three straight points and a 23-21 lead. Concordia forced Tampa to take a timeout after three straight points which included a overturned call to help the Golden Bears take a 24-23 lead. Immediately following the timeout CU took set three thanks in part to a attack error by Vanderhall.

Concordia used the momentum form the second and third sets to jump out to 11-7 lead. Concordia had 14-9 lead before Tampa scored three straight points to pull within two and force a CU timeout. The Golden Bears scored two straight points following the timeout to go up 16-12. Tampa again rallied and pulled within one at 16-15. Concordia was not about to relinquish the lead and scored four points in a row to force another Tampa timeout with a 20-15 lead. Concordia extended the lead to 22-16 following the timeout. Tampa would not go down easy and forced a CU timeout after battling back to cut the CU lead to two points at 23-21. A kill by Palkert set up CU with game point, CU won on the next play following an attack error on Tampa's Vanderhall, 25-21.

The Golden Bears will be back in action next weekend at the Metro/Regis Premiere Tournament in Denver, Colorado. Concordia will take on Adams State and West Florida on Friday. The Golden Bears have two games on Saturday that will be determined by the results on Friday.