Pensacola, Fla. – For the second year in a row and the ninth time in 11 years, Concordia (St. Paul) is the NCAA Division II champion in volleyball.
The Golden Bears swept Florida Southern 25-23, 25-20, 25-20 on Saturday afternoon in the championship match, ending the Moccasins' 23-match winning streak.
"It's been an uphill climb and an emotional season for this team," Concordia coach Brady Starkey said. "It's fun to watch them compete because they never really give up on each other. They have been doing it over and over, and I am super proud of them tonight."
Top-seeded Concordia (34-3) won with a diversified attack. Shelby Seurer had 16 kills and hit a match-high .556. Hope Schiller added 10 kills, Brooklyn Lewis nine, and Sydney Book and Mariya Sampson seven apiece.
Elizabeth Mohr orchestrated it all with 43 assists and added 10 digs.
Concordia hit .308 as a team, and the Moccasins (30-7), making their first appearance in a final, hit .211.
Leading 20-18 in the third set, the Golden Bears closed out the match with a 5-2 run.
Mohr was named the Elite Eight's Most Outstanding Player. Seurer, Schiller and Lewis made the all-tournament team.
"It's a crazy way to go out, and I couldn't ask for any other way to end," said Seurer, a senior. "Concordia volleyball is like nothing else."
All of the Golden Bears' titles have come under Starkey, in his 15th season. His career record is 499-49.
"It's incredible. I have the utmost respect for Brady," Florida Southern coach Jill Stephens said. "I've studied them for many years. What impresses me most is how he's so calm, he smiles way too much. He set a really high standard. They're so disciplined. They're always engaged."