Cal Baptist Outlasts St. Ambrose in Five-Game Marathon at NAIA Tourney


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Parkville, Mo. - California Baptist trailed 2-1 through three games in its second Pool B match of the tournament, but the Lancers rallied for a five-game victory over No. 4 St. Ambrose behind 28 kills from Adiel Tiedjop and 59 Eric Plunkett assists from his setting position.

The win moves Cal Baptist (14-11) into the 7 p.m. Friday semifinal match against the No. 2 team out of Pool A. St. Ambrose, who fell to 27-9, will play next at 10 a.m. Friday against Lindenwood for a spot in the 4:30 p.m. semifinal against the winner of Pool A.

California Baptist opened the match with a 30-25 win, but early in game two, St. Ambrose went on the attack, opening on an 8-5 run and maintaining the thee-point lead at 9-6 on a kill by Zak Krumlinde.

St. Ambrose then went on an 8-5 run, using a Cal Baptist service error to go up 17-11, but the Lancers answered the run, going on a 3-0 clip that turned into a 5-1 run, cutting SAU's edge to two, 18-16.

The Bees managed to extend their lead to 24-19 before Tiedjop unloaded from the middle of the floor to reduce the lead back to four, 24-20, and Tiedjop later knocked down two in a row to make it a two point game.

After an SAU time out, Cal Baptist slimmed the lead to 27-26 on another Tiedjop kill, but SAU finished on a 3-1 run to win game two, 30-27.

St. Ambrose opened game three on a 5-2 run but Cal Baptist quickly countered, getting three-straight blocks involving Blair Penner to take a 6-5 lead.

CBU later extended its advantage to three points on an SAU error at the net making it 14-11, and on the next play, the lead moved to four on a block from Penner and Tiedjop, forcing a Fighting Bee stoppage.

St. Ambrose would answer by forcing Cal Baptist to take a time out 11 serves later, going on a 7-4 run to tie it at 18-18, and out of the break, the Bees got two more points on Lancer miscues to make it 20-18, their first lead since 5-4.

The lead would grow to three late, 28-25, for the Bees, and SAU held on to take a 2-1 match lead with a 30-28 win in game three.

The Lancers were the aggressor to start game four, taking an 11-8 lead on a Tiedjop kill from the right side just before St. Ambrose rolled off two straight to get within one, 11-10.

Baliaba gave CBU a three-point lead at 14-11, notching a kill from the same spot Tiedjop struck from earlier, but the Lancers were unable to extend any further seven serves later, as St. Ambrose got back within two, 17-15, on a Cal Baptist error.

Krumlinde later went in on a block for the Bees to cut CBU's lead to 18-17, but CBU again went running, outscoring SAU 6-1 over the next seven serves to take a 24-18 lead. SAU kept the game's close nature in tact, though, rolling off five of the next six points to cut it to 25-23, forcing another Lancer time out.

Out of the break, Cal Baptist got two quick points to make it 27-23, and after a St. Ambrose stoppage, CBU managed to force a fifth game by holding on to win 30-27 despite being outscored 4-3 over the final seven plays.

St. Ambrose took the first point in the deciding frame and on the ensuing serve, the Bees gave it right back to the Lancers by serving the ball into the net. Tiedjop again came up strong for CBU on the next possession, killing from the left side to take a 2-1 lead, but SAU answered from its left side on the next serve, tying it at 2-2.

The game was again tied at 3-3 before a Baliaba kill made it 4-3, and the Lancers scored a block from Tiedjop and Romain Vetter to go up 5-3.

St. Ambrose called a time out after CBU made it 6-3, and after the pause in play, the Lancers pushed their lead to 7-3 before turning sides with an 8-4 advantage. After the flip, three-straight St. Ambrose errors made it 11-4, forcing another time out, and CBU cruised after the stop, scoring on four of the final five plays to win 15-5 and 3-2.

Article courtesy of NAIA media relations.

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