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Georgetown College's volleyball team needed a pair of late rallies to open pool-play in Sioux City, Iowa with a win. The No. 13 Tigers (35-4) defeated No. 12 Indiana University East, 23-25, 25-21, 26-24, 20-25, 15-10 to be with No. 1 Concordia as the two undefeated teams in Pool A after day one.
"It was an exciting match," said GC coach Nick Griffin. "We showed a lot of grit against a very veteran team and made the plays when we had too. This was a big win."
IU East came out on a tear in set four to level the match, which set up the biggest rally of the day.
Trailing 6-1 in the decisive set, GC roared back winning 14 of the final 18 points to secure the win.
"We showed in set three we weren't going to quit and we knew we just needed to continue to play our game," Griffin said about the fifth set comeback. "We had big plays, but also just never backed away from the challenge."
Kristen Schellhaas had three aces to give the Tigers an 8-7 lead it would never relinquish. With match point at 14-8, East's Lauren Crump helped her Red Wolves delay the inevitable by erasing two match points. But in the end it was Rachel Eubanks with a kill and the GC win.
The Tigers now face Concordia at 6:45 pm Wednesday. Concordia won in straight sets over host Morningside. The top two teams from each of the six pools advances to the single-elimination tournament Friday.
"The win puts us in the driver's seat for one of those two top spots," Griffin said. "We know that playing Concordia is the biggest challenge to date, but we are ready for it. Depending on how that match goes, we then face Morningside. We pick up a win in either of those matches and we should advance to the single-elimination portion of the tournament."
IU East would have to beat both Morningside and Concordia to have the same record as GC, but the Tigers would hold the advantage in the head-to-head win.
Georgetown clawed its way to the win Tuesday night. After dropping set one, the team rebounded for a match equalizing win and seemed ready to take the set advantage. The Red Wolves had an offensive surge to give them the 24-23 edge with thoughts of regaining the set lead. The Tigers responded with a sideout and two service points for the 26-24 win and the two sets to one advantage.
"I liked our resolve in this set," Griffin said. "When they went on that offensive swing, we didn't fold up or go away without a fight.
"I think it helped us set up our determination in the fifth set as well. We just refused to lose this match."
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