Irvine, Calif. – The Concordia (N.Y.) Clippers Women's Volleyball team began their 2011 campaign playing in the Asics Crowne Plaza Labor Day Tournament in California. In two days the Clippers will play in four games, two of which took place Friday afternoon. In the first game Concordia fell to Vanguard 3-0 and in the latter match, Azusa Pacific took the 3-0 victory.
In the match against Vanguard, the Clippers fell behind early in the first set 14-3. With a late push, Concordia was able to get within seven points. Leading this charge was senior Amanda Margedant, junior Chelsea Zurcher and sophomore Hillary Hoffman. But attack came too late in the set as Vanguard was able to pull away and take the first set 25-13.
In the second set, the Clippers built a comfortable 14-9 lead but the Lions would make a late push and tied the set 17-17. From that point, Vanguard's Kristen Markowitz would lead the offensive attack and secure the 25-19 second set win. The third set began with Vanguard jumping out to a 16-3 lead and from there; the Lions took the final set 25-15 for their fifth win of the season.
The Clippers had some time to regroup before their second game of the day as they took on the Azusa Pacific Cougars. This match was more one sided as the Cougars are one of the top teams in the NAIA after being ranked #6 in the nation during the preseason.
The first set proved to be a wakeup call for the Clippers as the Cougars jumped out to a 10-1 lead. For the rest of the set, there was nothing Concordia could do to get back in the set as Azusa Pacific took a 25-4 first set victory.
Concordia was able to change their approach to the Cougar attack and the second set showed improvement. The Clippers were able to stay close for the opening part of the second set as Margendant was able to get three kills in the set to keep the game close at 7-6. For the next few points, the Clippers had four attack errors which allowed the Cougars to jump out to a 20-13 lead. Concordia then went on a run of their own, led by first-year player Samantha Kurtzke's two kills to get within five points at 21-16. Azusa Pacific countered the run to finish out the set and take a 25-17 victory.
Azusa Pacific began the third set just the same as the first set as they jumped out to a 17-2 lead. From that point, both teams matched the other point for point until the Cougars won the final set 25-9 to improve to 9-0.
Concordia (0-2, 0-0 CACC) will finish the tournament on Saturday playing against Biola and then Concordia (Calif.), the sister school to the Clippers.