SIOUX CITY, Iowa (December 2, 2009) – Sisters Milica and Vedrana Krsmanovic combined for 31 kills to lead No.19 Lee University (Tenn.) to a 3-1 win (25-14, 25-21, 19-25, 25-11) over Lubbock Christian University Thursday afternoon in pool play action at the 30th Annual NAIA Volleyball National Championship held at Gateway Arena inside Tyson Events Center. The No.20 Lady Chaparrals suffered their third consecutive defeat for their only time of the season to conclude their season with an overall 27-8 record.
The opening set was fairly close until Lee broke away from an 8-7 lead with an 8-3 run for 16-10 lead. They closed the set on a 7-2 run for a 25-14 set win. LCU used a 5-0 run in the second set to build a 14-12 lead, but Lee responded with a 4-1 run and eventually took a 21-20 lead. Lee produced another solid ending, closing the set on a 5-2 run for a 25-21 set win. Despite trialing 2-0 in the match, the Lady Chaps didn't give up and produced a solid third set. A pair of kills by Elissa Loynes and an ace by Tori Velasquez gave the Lady Chaps a 9-3 lead to open the third set. The Lady Flames responded with a 7-3 run to cut the Lady Chaps lead to 12-10, but it would be as close as they would get, as the Lady Chaps claimed the set 25-19. It turned out to be the only set Lee would lose in pool play. The Lady Flames never trailed in the final set, opening the set with a 13-5 lead en route to a 25-11 win to claim the match 3-1 and improve to 36-5 on the season.
Lee had four players with over ten kills and two players finished with double-doubles. Milica led the way with 17 kills and she was joined in double figures by Vedrana (14), Jacky Toruno (13) and Stephanie Todd (10). Gretchen Higdon of Lee had 29 assists and 20 digs for a double-double and Todd mixed in 21 digs with her 10 kills to join the list. Loynes led LCU with 11 kills. LCU's Jordan Goings led the match with 36 assists and Courtney Yonke had a match-high 32 digs.
The 32 digs for Yonke closed out the senior's career with 3,018 career digs, which stands as an LCU career record and is third among all-time career NAIA leaders. The match was also the final match for LCU senior Kelsey Odell. She leaves LCU with 140 career aces (fourth most in program history), 532 sets played (sixth most in program history) and 1409 kills (eighth most in program history).
LCU was unable to advance into single-elimination play after falling in all three of their pool play matches. The Lady Chaps are now 12-19 all-time in national championship play and 5-5 under head coach Jennifer Lawrence.