Cougars win again at national tournament

Wednesday, December 3, 2008 | 3:03 p.m. CST; updated 10:06 p.m. CST, Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Behind a season-high 27 kills from Flavia Lino, the Columbia College volleyball team won its second match of the NAIA National Tournament 25-23, 28-26, 24-26, 27-5 over Dordt College (Iowa) Wednesday afternoon in Sioux City, Iowa.

"She (Lino) did a really nice job of taking what they gave her," Cougars coach Melinda Wrye-Washington said by phone. "We need to talk to Luana about running a little bit more of an offense, Flavia was carrying us today as far as kills. She was swinging hard and deep and over the top of the block."

Dordt College had beaten the No. 5-seeded Cougars 3-1 on Sept. 27 at the Bellevue University Bruin Classic.

The Cougars are now 41-3 on the season and 2-0 so far in pool play at the tournament at the Tyson Events Center. The 24-team event is divided into six pools, and after three matches, the top two teams from each pool advance to the single-elimination playoff beginning Friday.

Since both Mobile University (Ala.) and Dordt College have two losses, Columbia College and Azusa Pacific University (Calif.) will advance.

The Cougars started out slow Wednesday, trailing by as many as six in the first set, but a 9-1 run to end the game gave them the win. The second set was similar, with the Cougars trailing most of the game until coming from behind for a two-point win. The Cougars lost the third set after leading for most of the game, but a win in the back-and-forth fourth set gave the Cougars a match victory.

"It's a team that I feel like we don't have a very good match-up against," Wye-Washington said. "They (Dordt) played really well. It was a must-win situation for them. They played well, and we didn't play particularly well, but we were able to fight through and win."

Maria Omondi had nine kills and eight blocks. Luana Branco had seven kills, five blocks, and 54 assists. Tally Mattos added 49 digs.

Columbia College will finish pool play at 1:15 p.m. Thursday against No. 8 seed Azusa Pacific University.



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