The defending National Champions #1 NAIA ranked UTB and TSC Women's Volleyball team is in Irvine, California to take on the #2 ranked team the Concordia University Eagles tonight at 9 p.m.
This is a rematch of the NAIA National Championship game played last December in Sioux City, Iowa where UTB and TSC beat the Eagles 3-1 (25-15, 20-25, 25-19, 25-20).
"This is the week we find out what we are made of and what we need to work on before nationals." said UTB and TSC head coach Todd Lowery.
UTB and TSC is currently 20-0 overall and 9-0 in conference play. Concordia comes into tonight's matchup undefeated on the season as well and is the second time in as many years that the teams come in ranked #1 and #2 into their match.
UTB and TSC know they have a challenge in front of them.
"Concordia is a great team and to go into their gym and knock them off will be no easy task. We are going to need a complete team effort." said Lowery.
After tonight's game UTB and TSC will stay in California to play two more Top 25 teams in the NAIA. It starts versus #23 Vanguard University on Friday at 9:00 p.m. and then on Saturday they play #4 Biola University at 3 p.m.
"The week does not get any easier for us. After tonight we play a solid Vanguard team and a very good Biola squad." said Lowery. "This is a great trip for us. We have not really been challenged since early September so we need these matches to prepare for the postseason."
The game will be streamed live online by Concordia University. For the live feed click here.
Here are some extra facts and stats on tonight's anticipated matchup.
By Travis Rae, Communications and Sports Information Intern NAIA
NAIA Match of the Week
No. 1 Texas at Brownsville (20-0) at No. 2 Concordia (Calif.) (24-0)
Thursday, Oct. 25; Irving, Calif., 7 p.m. PT, CU Arena
For live video and stats provided by Concordia (Calif.), click here
• No. 1 Texas at Brownsville travels to Irving, Calif., to face No. 2 Concordia (Calif.) on Thursday night at 7 p.m. PT at CU Arena. This is the second-straight year that Texas at Brownsville and Concordia have met in the regular-season where both teams have been ranked No. 1 and No. 2.
• Last season, Texas at Brownsville faced Concordia in a regular season showdown on Oct. 29. The Eagles defeated the Scorpions, 3-2, (25-20, 16-25, 25-19, 20-25, 15-10). Since that matchup, Texas at Brownsville has not lost and is currently on a 29-match winning streak.
• Texas at Brownsville revenged its regular season loss to Concordia in the 2011 NAIA Volleyball National Championship match as the Scorpions were victories over the Eagles, 3-1, (25-15, 20-25, 25-19, 25-20). This was the first national championship in school history for Texas at Brownsville.
• Texas at Brownsville enters the game against Concordia after defeating Texas Wesleyan, 3-0, (25-18, 25-11, 25-14) on Oct. 20.
• The last set the Scorpions lost came back on Sept. 22 to Lubbock Christian (Texas) and the Scorpions have only dropped five sets all season.
• Texas at Brownsville comes into the matchup against the Eagles as the best team in the nation in aces per set (2.910) and 31st in total aces (189).
• Danica Markovic is eighth in the NAIA with 58 aces. She has recorded 15 aces against Texas College on Sept. 29. Thirteen days later Markovic, again recorded 15 aces against Langston (Okla.).
• Markovic does not only lead the Scorpions in aces but also in kills with a team high 207.
• Katarina Bursac is 14th in the nation averaging 10.68 assists per set. Bursac leads the Scorpions with 662 assists.
• The Scorpions rank fifth in the nation in hitting percentage (.293) and eighth in blocks per set (2.77).
• Concordia enters Thursday night's matchup after defeating No. 12 Westmont (Calif.), 3-0, (25-13, 25-19, 25-13) extending its winning streak to 24-straight.
• Concordia comes into the matchup against Texas at Brownsville after defeating No. 12 Westmont (Calif.), 3-0, (25-13, 25-19, 25-13) Tuesday night.
• Similar to Texas at Brownsville, the Eagles have not dropped at set since Oct. 4 to The Master's (Calif.) and on the season Concordia has only dropped five sets.
• As a team the Eagles are second in the nation in assists per set (13.84) and kills per set (14.66). Concordia is also third in hitting percentage (.313).
• Brooke Marino leads the team in kills with 292 and ranks 26th in kills per set (3.79). Marino also leads the team with 43 aces.
• Jenee Henderson and Liz Younglove have combined for 886 of the Eagles 1,066 assists this season.
• Concordia ranks 23rd nationally with 2.26 blocks per set. Leading the block party is Reanna Schelhaas with 62 blocks (three block solos and 59 block assists).