MEQUON, Wis. – Concordia University Wisconsin has high expectations for the 2013 season and it now has momentum going forward after winning the Concordia Invitational Tournament with a pair of straight-set victories inside the R. John Buuck Field House. The Falcons defeated Concordia University Ann Arbor 3-0 (26-24, 25-16, 25-18) and Concordia University Chicago 3-0 (25-17, 27-25, 25-18) on Saturday.
CUW (2-0) showed a high level of excitement throughout the day and gave rookie head coach Janelle Gabrielsen-Katz the first wins of her career. Junior Hannah Griffiths (Antigo, Wis.) was named CIT MVP for her impressive performance, while juniors Gabrielle VanBeaver (Green Bay, Wis.) and Britta Duchow (Potter, Wis.) were named All-CIT.
The Falcons finished with a .199 attack percentage and held the opposition to a measly .051, while serving 10 aces and recording 17.5 total blocks. Three players finished with an above .300 attack percentage with 26 or more attempts.
Griffiths had a team-high 21 kills and four service aces, while freshman Karina Klotz (Hubertus, Wis.) assisted on 38 kills in the two matches. Sophomore Kelsey Paramore (Tomahawk, Wis.) led the defensive effort with 23 digs and Duchow accumulated 12 block assists.
Match One: CUW 3, CUAA 0
The opening frame was tight with seven scoring ties and three lead changes, before the Falcons controlled the final two sets. CUW defeated CUAA by scores of 26-24, 25-16 and 25-18.
Griffiths posted 11 kills and eight digs, while Klotz and junior Carley Valentine (De Pere, Wis.) had 27 combined assists. Paramore recorded 11 digs, and Duchow and VanBeaver accumulated for 11 blocks assists. CUW hit .274 in the win.
Erica den Boer smashed a match-high 15 kills and Adrienne Kanitz recorded a match-best 25 assists for the Cardinals. Julia Szuba dug 17 attack attempts.
The Falcons responded from a 13-6 deficit midway through the opening frame by outscoring the Cardinals 17-11 down the stretch. With the set tied at 24-24, CUW received a kill by VanBeaver, followed by an attack error by CUAA for points 25 and 26, respectively.
Following a slim 10-9 lead for the Falcons in set two, they built an 18-13 advantage after a quick 3-0 scoring run. Duchow added a pair of kills and CUW took advantage of several CUAA errors to build a comfortable 2-0 set lead.
The Falcons held a 20-11 lead, their largest of the match, in set three and overcame a Cardinals run to witness the scoreboard at 20-17. A pair of attack successes and a service ace by Griffiths gave CUW the match sweep.
Match Two: CUW 3, CUC 0
CUW needed extra points in the second frame, but held off CUC for the majority of the match to win by scores of 25-17, 27-25 and 25-18.
Griffiths posted a match-high 10 kills, Klotz and Valentine each had a match-best 16 assists and Paramore had a match-high-tying 12 digs. The Falcons recorded six service aces in the win.
Bianca Gordon led CUC with seven kills, while Jenna Boggs assisted on 13 kills. Angela Hennig recorded a match-high-tying 12 digs.
VanBeaver posted three kills to lead a Falcons 5-0 scoring run early in the opening set, to give them a 13-7 lead. Both squads traded points the remainder of the way, but numerous service errors by CUC proved to be costly, as CUW won 25-17.
The Falcons fell behind 7-3 and were down 19-12 later in the second frame, but fought back and outscored the Cougars 15-6 to take a 2-0 lead in the match. CUC committed 10 errors down the stretch.
Holding a slim 18-17 advantage, CUW went on the attack to sweep the Cougars with a 25-18 third set victory. A service ace by freshman Rachel Hamilton (Rockton, Ill.) and a kill by Valentine helped the scoring run.
CUW returns to the court on Friday for a pair of non-conference matches in Whitewater, Wis. It is scheduled to play North Central College at 3 p.m. prior to playing UW-Whitewater at 7 p.m.