ANN ARBOR - The 2012 regular season came to a close on Friday for Lourdes University, and the Gray Wolves rallied from a set down to defeat Concordia (Mich.) 23-25, 25-14, 25-20, 25-21 at Cardinal Fieldhouse in Ann Arbor, Mich. to finish in a tie for seventh place in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference standings.
"It was good to finish with a win on the road to secure as high of a seed for the upcoming tournament as we could," head coach Greg Reitz stated after the match.
Shelby Schuster (Sylvania, Ohio/Southview H.S.) led the way offensive for the Gray Wolves with 17 kills and hit .316 while Ali Mass (Walbridge, Ohio/Tiffin Calvert H.S.) hit .350 off of the bench with eight kills and added 11 digs.
"Our left side attack was significant tonight," Reitz added. "Shelby led the team in kills and Ali hit a great percentage. Allegra did a good job of setting tonight as well."
Allegra Recknagel (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion H.S.) handed out 44 assists along with 18 digs for her double-double while Katie McKenty (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame H.S.) also had a double-double with 12 kills and 16 digs. Michi Jimenez (Vega Baja, P.R./Juan Quirindongo Morell H.S.) registered a match-high 26 digs while Alyssa Pelish (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic H.S.) had 12 more digs.
Lourdes fell behind quickly in the opening set and was never able to finish off the rally. Concordia scored six of the match's first seven points before the Gray Wolves tried to battle back. Several times Lourdes pulled to within one, including 24-23, but could never get the tying point. The Gray Wolves struggled hitting the ball in the opening set, registering 11 attack errors.
Set two was all Gray Wolves. This time it was Lourdes racing out to the 6-1 lead. The Cardinals closed to within 13-9 before Lourdes scored five of the next six points to put the set out of reach. Lourdes hit .343 in the set with Jimenez tallying 12 digs.
Set three was tight early with Lourdes holding a slim 10-9 lead. Concordia scored five straight to build a four-point advantage, and led as late as 18-15. Eight straight points, seven off of the serve of Mass, helped turn the set around and give the Gray Wolves a 2-1 match lead.
In the final set Lourdes took a quick 4-0 lead only to allow the Cardinals to tie the set at both four and eight. A 12-3 run by the Gray Wolves broke the set open though, giving Lourdes a 20-11 lead. Concordia tried to fight back, pulling within 24-21, but a block by Mass ended the contest.
Ashley Maynard led Concordia (17-22, 2-9 WHAC) with eight kills and 15 digs, but committed nine errors to hit -.022 for the contest.
"It's good to carry a win into postseason play," Reitz concluded. "We need to carry this momentum into Wednesday night now."
Lourdes (13-17, 5-6) and Concordia will meet again on Wednesday night at Tam-o-Shanter in the opening round of the WHAC tournament. The Gray Wolves are the seventh seed after winning a tie-breaker with Siena Heights, while the Cardinals are the 10th seed. First serve is slated for 7 p.m.