The top-ranked Concordia-St. Paul volleyball team (32-4) defeated co-No. 5 BYU-Hawaii 3-1 on Friday in the NCAA Division II volleyball national semifinals (20-25, 25-11, 25-19, 25-14) on the campus of the University of West Florida.
The win improves Concordia's NCAA tournament win streak to 35 consecutive matches, as its all-time NCAA Tournament record improves to 43-4 in 10 appearances. Concordia is now a perfect 7-0 in seven trips to the Elite Eight.
The Golden Bears will continue their quest for an NCAA (all divisions) record-tying sixth-consecutive national championship in the final Saturday at 7 p.m. central time against No. 7 Tampa. Concordia is 5-1 in six prior appearances in the national championship.
“Our girls did a really good job of defending the court,” Concordia head coach Brady Starkey said. “Everything they threw at us, we defended as hard as we could. Our serve receive did a really good job of fighting to get us in system and allow our offense flourish.”
BYU-Hawaii opened the match with a 4-1 lead in the first set and didn’t look back the rest of the frame. Concordia tied the score 9-9, but was never able to take the lead. The Seasiders gained their largest lead of the set at 20-15 to force a Concordia timeout. After the break, the Golden Bears responded with four of the next six points for a 22-19 deficit, but BYU-Hawaii ended the set with four of the final five points.
The Golden Bears then responded with a dominating second set. They improved their hitting percentage from .227 to .643 for a convincing 25-11 victory. Leading 13-10 midway through the set, the Bears rallied for nine straight points.
The Golden Bears were led by Kayla Koenecke as the AVCA All-American right side hitter tallied a career-high 23 kills on 35 attempts with only one error for a .629 attack percentage. She also tallied 15 digs for her team-leading 12th double-double of the season.
Ellie Duffy (16), Cassie Haag (14) and Ashley Murtha (12) also finished in double-digits with Amanda Konetchy picking up 57 assists.
More from Star Tribune
More from Sports
The Latest on the Ryder Cup (all times local):
Ryder Cup play begins
The NHL's Western Conference should be wild all season, perhaps as much as ever as parity reigns and points are tough to come by on…
Reeve was named WNBA coach of the year for the second time and 6-foot-6 center Sylvia Fowles was named the top defensive player for the third time in her career.
Former champion Petra Kvitova advanced to the final of the Wuhan Open by beating fourth-seeded Simona Halep of Romania 6-1, 6-2 Friday.
Recommended For You
Donald Trump shamed a former beauty pageant winner Friday for her sexual history and encouraged Americans to check out what he called her "sex tape," in an early-morning tweet-storm that dragged him further away from his campaign's efforts to broaden its appeal to women.
Democratic strategists have found that tarring down-ticket Republicans with the scarlet T may hurt Clinton.
The negotiating team representing striking Allina Health hospital nurses has no recommendation for Monday's vote, according to a union statement.
It showed the extent to which he prized women's looks over skills.
The route's main goal is to help alleviate postgame congestion around the stadium for fans in cars.