Courtesy: CBU
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Florida Festivities
Courtesy: CBU  
Release: 12/03/2011
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KISSIMMEE, Fla. --- After playing its most impressive match in the semifinals, California Baptist University fought through its toughest test of the week in the finals and came out victorious.

The Lancers defeated Trinity Christian in the NCCAA Championship match, 3-1 (13-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-22), surviving a furious start by the Trolls to win the 2011 title.

"The resiliency this team showed was amazing tonight," said Head Coach Ryan McGuyre. "How we played the championship was very different from how we played the semifinal match. We were able to adapt and that's something this team has developed through everything they endured this season."

Fittingly it was a senior at the service line who ended the match in style, as Jessica Kalama fired an ace on the final point to end the Lancers' season as champs.

"It was so exciting," said Kalama. "I thanked God just for the opportunity to serve that last point and then getting tackled by my teammates after it fell in was amazing."

Trinity, which had fought through five-set matches in each of its past two contests, came in hot and handed CBU its worst loss of the tournament in the first set.

The Lancers weathered the storm, though, and fought back for a comeback win in the second.

CBU fell behind by as much as four points in the second game, but Jordyn Siko led the Lancers back with a string of three aces that evened the set at 9-9. The two teams battled, trading the lead back-and-forth down the stretch, but it was a block by Jelena Dragovic and Siko that would give CBU set point. After a long rally, Siko set Kalama for the game winning kill, giving CBU the 25-22 victory.

"Jordyn was the MVP of this championship match for us," said McGuyre. "Her energy and play really led us back and got us going when we needed it. Ingrid Carmona was great as well powering our offense."

Siko had 40 assists, three aces and 11 digs in the match.

The Lancers were forced to battle in each of the final two sets, but hit progressively better and were able to finish the match in four.

For the sixth-straight match Carmona led CBU, posting 20 kills in the championship and also led the team with 21 digs. Senior Bree Rauschenbach had 11 kills and hit .455.

"We knew this tournament would not be easy and this was the perfect way to end it," said Rauschenbach. "We were fortunate, because not many people get to experience this feeling."

The Lancers close their season 26-10, rattling off six straight wins to take the NCCAA National Tournament title. Carmona, Dragovic and Rauschenbach were all named to All-Tournament team. McGuyre was named the NCCAA Division I Coach of the Year.

The Lancers finished the regular season tied for third in the PacWest and will graduate four seniors from the 2011 squad in Rauschenbach, Kalama, Chloe Ainsworth and Andrea Csaszi.

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