Pensacola, Fla. – Top-seeded Concordia (St. Paul) defeated New Haven 25-14, 25-11, 25-7 on Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II volleyball tournament.
The Golden Bears (32-3), who are the defending national champions and have won eight titles in the past 10 years, will play fifth-seeded Rockhurst (32-7) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the semifinals. The Hawks of Kansas City, Mo., beat Flagler 3-1 in their opening match, ending the Saints’ 22-match winning streak.
Concordia relied on its balanced attack to sweep New Haven. Brooklyn Lewis had 12 kills, Mariya Sampson 10, Hope Schiller nine and Shelby Seurer eight. Elizabeth Mohr got the ball to them with 37 assists. Libero Tori Hanson contributed 14 digs.
Sampson got her 1,000th kill in the victory.
“Honestly, it’s kind of surreal,” she said. “When I heard everybody cheering, I was like, ‘Oh, that’s that moment’. I think I owe a lot to my coaches to get to that point. It’s kind of cool.”
“She’s had a great career for us so far,” coach Brady Starkey said. “She’s been a great terminating hitter for us for many years. The numbers add up.”
The Golden Bears hit .437, paced by Seurer, who hit .667 without an error on 12 attacks. New Haven (26-8) hit .084; Alex Bussey and Kristine Rios add six kills each.
Concordia used a 4-0 run to take a 19-11 lead in the opening set. Seurer got a kill on set point.
The second set ended on a 5-0 run by the Golden Bears during which Lindsey Kim had three service aces, the third on set point.
New Haven stumbled early in the third set, falling behind 6-1 and losing on an attack error.
Rockhurst, which has won 14 of its past 15 matches, came into the national tournament third in kills (1,892) and fourth in assists (1,781); in their only other Elite Eight, the Hawks lost to Western Washington 3-1 in 2015.