NAIA: Cal Baptist Punches Semifinal Ticket

4/16/2009

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PARKVILLE, Mo. - Since the program began in 1999, California Baptist University has reached the semifinals of the NAIA National Invitational every year and 2009 will be no different. The Lancers (24-7) secured a spot in tomorrow's first semifinal match with a 3-1 (30-16, 30-27, 28-30, 30-21) win over No. 3 Cardinal Stritch (21-5).
 
CBU will take on the winner of No. 4 Hope International and No. 5 Park, tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. (CST)

Levi Cabral put up 20-plus kills for the second straight match with a match-high 21 and Adiel Tiedjop was close behind with 17. Cabral also served three aces and notched five digs while Tiedjop had 13 digs and three blocks.
 
For the second straight match Blair Penner set another school single-season record. Just a few hours before Penner his second match of the night he became the school's leader for assists in a single season and late in the final set against Cardinal Stritch, the sophomore served his 69th ace of the year passing Rafael Paal's 2000 mark of 68. Penner also dished out a match-high 41 assists.
 
The Lancers set the tone early, taking a 14-4 lead behind two kills each from Cabral, Tiedjop and Mike MacNeill. The Wolves answered with the next two points, but the Lancers scored four straight on a pair of Stritch errors, a Tiedjop and Church block and a Tiedjop kill to lead 18-6. CBU cruised from there to take a 1-0 match lead.
 
CBU opened the second with a 4-1 run, but Cardinal Stritch answered with a 4-1 run of its own to tie it at 5-5. Levi Cabral then ripped three kills in a 6-1 run to break a 10-10 tie and put the Lancers out in front 16-11. Later in the set, CBU led 20-17, but an Austin Cass kill sparked a 9-3 run by the Wolves who took a 26-23 advantage. The lead didn't last long for Stritch. Tiedjop blasted a kill and Cabral served a pair of aces to tie the set at 26. Mirko Jankovic gave the Wolves their last lead at 27-26 with a kill before an error tied the set at 27. MacNeill put CBU up 28-27 with an ace and Tiedjop hit consecutive kills to close out the set.
 
Neither team led by more than two in the third set before the Wolves scored three straight, including two kills from Cass to take a 16-13 lead. Cardinal Stritch increased the run to 8-2 to take its largest lead of the set at 21-15. The Lancers answered with a 5-1 run to make it 22-20 and got within one twice at 24-23 and 25-24. Back-to-back errors by the Lancers made it 27-24, but CBU got a kill from Adam church and three errors from the Wolves to tie the set at 28. The Lancers gave the set away though with a service and attacking error for the final two points.
 
CBU took the first lead bigger than one point after a Stritch error and a Penner kill gave CBU a 9-7 lead. Two straight Lancer errors tied the match at 9-9 and Vladimir Frenc and Cass capped a 4-0 run with back-to-back kills to give the Wolves an 11-9 lead. Another Penner kill and a Scott Markley ace tied the set at 11. The Lancers started to put the match away with a 10-3 run to take a 26-18 lead. The last point in that run was the record-breaking ace from Penner. That was all CBU needed to make their 11th consecutive trip to the final four.

Article courtesy of Park athletics.

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