CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (Dec. 14, 2013) – The No. 4 BYU-Hawaii women's volleyball season went about as far as it could but came up short in the finals of the NCAA Division II Volleyball Championship to Concordia-St. Paul 3-0 (15-25, 14-25, 20-25) Saturday.
The Seasiders (29-2) had won 22 matches in a row entering the championship match, losing only at the end to Concordia (35-3), a team that has now won the last seven titles in a row. The Golden Bears ended BYU-Hawaii's season last year as well.
After traveling over 4,000 miles from Hawaii, the Seasiders spent a lot of energy in five-set matches leading up to the finals but still gave it their all in the title match against Concordia.
The Seasiders hit just .135 for the match to the Golden Bears' .374 clip. Shih Ting (Stella) Chen was held in check for most of the match, totaling just nine kills and three digs. Erh Fang (Ariel) Hsu chipped in seven.
Head coach Mona Ah-Hoy put together a stellar first season at the helm, leading BYU-Hawaii to a Pacific West Conference Championship, West Region Championship and came up just shy of a National Championship. The Seasiders return the majority of the team in 2014 with just two seniors departing after this year.
The first set started our favoring the Golden Bears as they jumped out to a 6-3 lead. The Seasiders answered with a 4-0 run to retake the lead 7-6. Concordia came back with strong hitting from the outside and took a 15-9 lead. BYU-Hawaii continued point-for-point midway through the first set but couldn't mount a big enough run, succumbing to the Golden Bears in a 25-15 loss to open the match.
In the second set, BYU-Hawaii continued to keep it close early, trailing just 10-8 but a run from the Golden Bears stretched their lead to 19-11. The Seasiders did all they could but were not able to keep Concordia in check down the stretch. The Golden Bears took a 2-0 match lead with a 25-14 victory in set No. 2.
BYU-Hawaii would not lay down for Concordia, and held a 6-5 lead early on in the third. As they had in the first two however, the Golden Bears came right back with another run, taking a 15-9 lead. The Seasiders gave it one last hurrah with a 4-0 run to cut the lead to 18-13. Another late run gave BYU-Hawaii some more life, keeping the Concordia lead to 23-19 but the Golden Bears hung on for the victory 25-20, winning the title in three sets.