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NCAA.com | November 8, 2013

No. 4 St. Thomas earns trip to title game

MINNEAPOLIS -- St. Benedict (Minn.) came out very strong against No. 13 Augsburg. After Augsburg gave the CSB its first loss of the season by a 3-0 score in September, the Blazers pushed through to take a 3-1 win on the Auggies home court in the rematch Thursday.

In the first set, the score stayed close all the way through starting with a 5-5 tie and staying within two points until the Auggies took a 21-18 lead. From there, the Auggies finished strong and took a 25-19 win. The second set started the same way and the Blazers held a slim 17-15 lead. The Blazers then powered through the end of the set to take a 25-19 win.

The Blazers continued to further their lead in the third set and finished with a 25-16 win.

The fourth and final set once again started out with a close score as the Blazers held a 7-6 lead. After a 5-to-2 run, the Blazers kept a steady lead for the rest of the game finishing the night with a 25-21 win. CSB never trailed in the third and fourth sets.

St. Thomas (Minn.) 3, St. Mary's 1

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Kelly Foley had a season-high 21 kills and Jill Greenfield had 15 kills and 15 digs as No. 4 St. Thomas (Minn.) (27-2) scored a 3-1 comeback win against St. Mary's (24-9).

Alex Peterson had 23 kills and hit .340 for the Cardinals. St. Thomas will host the third-seed St. Benedict (26-2) on Saturday in the playoff championship match. The Blazers scored a 3-1 road win against Augsburg.

No. 3 Cal Lutheran 3, Chapman 0

Cal Lutheran (29-1) came out fired up in front of a loud and rowdy crowd, breaking a 10-10 tie and stealing the momentum in the opening set. The Regals led by as many as eight and use a mix of solid offense and defense to earn the first set win. 

With a lot of great rallies in the second set, CLU and CU each had their swings of controlling the pace. A pair of Allie Eason service aces followed by a block gave the Violet and Gold an 8-6 lead, but the Panthers came back with a block of their own to knot the teams at 9-9. Once the Regals went up 11-10 they never looked back, opening an advantage of eight at 23-15, ultimately winning by nine.

During the third and decisive game, Nicki Tetherow came up with a pancake dig and Eason killed it on a set from Jackie Russell giving CLU a 15-9 lead, forcing CU head coach Mary Cahill to use a timeout. While the Panthers broke the huddle to score the next two points, the Regals resumed the momentum with a Caitlin Fransen and Hayley Tamagni roof block that forced another Panthers timeout at 21-12. CLU cruised to the 25-13 final, locking up a spot in the title match, while Chapmanā€™s season came to a close.

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