Lady Yotes fall to defending NAIA Champions

Lady Yotes fall to defending NAIA Champions »Play Video
The new logo from the College of Idaho athletic department. A kickoff party (and debut of the new mascot uniform) will be September 2, 2011 on the C of I campus.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Danielle Markovic had 20 kills and 16 digs, including the tiebreaking kill in the decisive fifth set, as the University of Texas at Brownsville-Texas Southmost College rallied for a 25-27, 21-25, 27-25, 25-20, 18-16 victory over The College of Idaho on Day 2 of the NAIA Volleyball National Championships, presented by CNOS Foundation, inside the Tyson Events Center.

The No. 2 ranked Scorpions (29-1), the defending NAIA national champions, were pushed to the brink by the unseeded Coyotes, having to stave off a pair of match points in the marathon.

The Lady Yotes (23-7) held an 8-7 edge at the change-over in Set 5, but one of nine C of I hitting errors in the period gave UTB-TSC match point at 14-12. The Coyotes fought back, getting a kill after a length rally from Liz Myers, a Kylee Nawahine kill, and a spike from Torrey Hulsey to earn the edge at 15-14. A kill from Erica Chimak knotted the score at 15-15, and after back-to-back side outs, Markovic ripped a high-ball down the line to give the Scorpions the 17-16 lead, ending the match on a hitting error from Hulsey.

Playing their eighth all-time match against a Top-3 foe, the Lady Yotes used an 8-2 push in Set 1, keyed by two of their 12 aces on the afternoon, to lead 18-11. After Sofia Anxo gave the Yotes a 22-17 lead, UTB-TSC ran off six-straight points, including kills from Markovic, Chimak, and Michelle Marques, to lead 23-22. The Scorpions had set point at 24-23, but a Myers kill kept the Yotes alive, and following back-to-back side-outs, a UTB-TSC service error and an attack error gave C of I the set win.

The C of I pushed their lead to two sets to none – as UTB-TSC lost back-to-back sets for just the second time this season, as the Yotes busted out of the gates in the second frame, getting a pair of combo-blocks to lead 9-3. The Scorpions would score nine-straight points on Chimak’s serve, including two kills each from Markovic and Vanja Joksic to lead 14-12, but Hulsey had two of her four aces in a Coyote six-point run to lead 21-16, with kills by Myers and Hulsey ending the set.

Set 3 went back and forth, with UTB-TSC getting two Chimak kills in a 7-3 spurt to open the period. The Yotes would fight back, using a four-point swing to take a 19-15 lead and led 23-21 on a Jessica Peacock kill. A Myers spike would give the Coyotes match point at 24-23, but a kill by Joksic tied the score and average two side-outs, Markovic and Marques logged kills to give the Scorpions the set.

UTB-TSC led 18-17 in Set 4, before kills by Marques and Chimak, sandwiched around a Marques ace gave the Scorpions their biggest lead of the period, forcing the deciding fifth set.

Sierra Porter had a monster match for the Lady Yotes, registering 50 assists and 20 digs – the first 20-20 match by a C of I player since Madie Machurek at the 2009 NAIA Championships. Myers led the way with a season-high 16 kills and four blocks, with Peacock recording 13 kills, 19 digs, and five blocks. Anxo had 12 kills, with Hulsey logging 11 kills, eight digs, seven blocks, and four aces. The Yotes struggled down the stretch, recording 19 kills and 18 errors in the final two sets combined.

Marques had 15 kills in the win for UTB-TSC, with Joksic recording 13 kills and seven blocks. Chimak logged a double-double with 10 kills and 17 digs, with Katarina Bursac recording 48 assists and 10 digs.

The Lady Yotes will close out Pool Play tomorrow with a Noon match against St. Francis (Ill.) – with a victory advancing the team into single-elimination play on Friday morning.