The second-ranked Concordia (St. Paul) volleyball team advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division II tournament on Thursday with a 30-26, 30-25, 30-22 victory over California (Pa.) in Topeka, Kan.

The Golden Bears (34-4) reached the Final Four for the second time in school history. They will play at 4 p.m. today against West Texas A&M. In the other semifinal, Western Washington will play Tampa or Washburn.

The national title match is at 5 p.m. Saturday.

"The girls did a good job of controlling the ball and keeping it off the floor, prolonging the plays until we were able to win the point," Concordia coach Brady Starkey said of Thursday's match.

Maria Steinhagen had 16 kills to lead the Golden Bears. Mary Slinger had 20 digs; Whitney Meierotto had 10 kills and 16 digs; and Maggie McNamara had 45 set assists and 10 digs.

Giannini won't be back

Gophers junior placekicker Jason Giannini, who is on track to graduate next spring, will not return for his senior season. Giannini made a game-winning field goal at Michigan in 2005 but lost his job this season after making only one of his first four field-goal attempts.

Lightning tryouts

The Minnesota Lightning W-League women's soccer team will hold a tryout on Dec. 23 at Holy Angels High School in Richfield.

Players interested in trying out must e-mail a registration form (available from www.mnthunder.com) and a playing resume to womens-tryouts@mnthunder.com or fax them to 651-917-1088. There is a $25 fee for trying out.

For more information, call 651-917-TEAM or visit www.mnthunder.com.

NEWS SERVICES