It was a marathon in set one as the Falcons pulled out to an early 8-4 lead. That lead would increase to 13-6 but the Crusaders inched closer with several attack errors by CUW and a service ace by Laci Peterson.
With the score 16-12, junior hitter Torey DeLozier punched two kills out of the next five points bringing the score to a 17-17 deadlock. The rest of the game was a knock-down fight as each team exchanged points and leads until Concordia pulled away with three straight points to end in dramatic fashion with a 30-28 win.
The Crusaders took advantage of errors by the Falcons but also distributed the kills among players such as freshman hitter Pam Borchardt (Watertown, Wis.), and sophomore hitter Erin Steuerwald (Whitewater, Wis.).
The second set was back and forth until Maranatha broke a 9-9 tie with the next eight points and eventually closing out the set 25-19.
The Falcons did not lie down and quit, answering right back with a decisive 25-16 set three victory and putting them ahead of Maranatha 2-1.
The Crusaders responded with a set four 25-19 victory evening the score 2-2 and setting up a final showdown.
The Crusaders jumped out to a 5-2 lead only to have Concordia score the next three points to tie it at 5-5. If Maranatha gained any points, the Falcons responded to maintain no more than a two point lead. That lead would ultimately vanish when DeLozier took over, tallying two kills in a row to tie the game at 13 apiece.
Concordia went ahead 14-13 to inch within a point of victory only to see it vanish when DeLozier recorded another kill and the Falcons had two costly errors succumbing to Maranatha 14-16.
DeLozier had a season high in kills with 32 to go along with 24 digs and five blocks (one solo). Sophomore hitter Laci Peterson was second with 11 kills while Borchardt and junior libero Hallie Nelson had 12 digs each.
The Crusaders now have an 7-2 record with a 2-1 record in the NAC. They play next in the Moody Invitational Tournament starting Friday at 6:00 p.m. against Dayspring Bible and 8:00 p.m. against Northland. The championship is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.