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Saturday, November 19, 2005
NAIA Region 2 - Championship
Sunbirds make it three in a row with 4-game win over Lancers

Box score

Fresno - The Fresno Pacific University Sunbirds may have lost a battle, but they certainly won the war.

The Sunbirds, ranked #1 in the NAIA, dropped a very rare game to the #3 California Baptist University Lancers, but it didn't seem to matter much to the Sunbirds or their loyal fans.

FPU, paced by Lorena Zuleta and Thais Julio won their third consecutive , and 10th overall, NAIA Region championship, a 30-17, 30-16, 26-30, 30-22 victory over the Lancers.

It was FPU's third win of the season over the Lancers, the 2004 NAIA National Champions.

Zuleta, a senior middle blocker from Cali, Columbia, hit .543 for the match, pounded 24 kills, was in on seven blocks and also had a couple of digs. Juilo, a freshman hitter from Sao Paulo, Brazil, wasn't far behind with 23 kills, 11 digs and was in on four blocks.

"She was unstoppable," said Lancers head coach Ryan McGuyre of Zuleta. "We had our biggest blocker on her . I didn't matter."

That's a mouthful. The blocker just happens to be Verania Willis, the Golden State Athletic Conference Player of the Year. Willis led the Lancers (28-4) with 16 kills and had a hand in three blocks.

FPU cruised in Games 1 and 2 but trailed throughout Game 3. Game 4 was tied five times in the early going, but at 9-9 a mini 4-0 run forced McGuyre to call a time out. The Lancers would not get closer than two points (19-17) the rest of the way.

"This feels really good right now," said FPU head coach Dennis Janzen. "I am especially pleased for the seniors. What a great way to end their careers on their home court."

Brittany Pierce added nine kills and 12 digs for FPU. Marin Shilling (9 kills, five blocks) and Lira Xavier (6 kills, 6 assists, 19 digs, 5 blocks) also made key contributions Setter Shu Liu recorded 58 assists, eight digs, three kills and two block assists. Libero Samantha Weatherly had 13 digs and a pair of service aces.

Yudelka Bonilla had 12 kills and 10 digs for the Lancers. Angela Willis added nine kills, while Lindsey Siefken contributed seven kills and seven block assists.

With the win, FPU claims the region's automatic berth to the NAIA National Championship November 30 through December 3 in San Diego. The Lancers receive and at-large berth.

The Sunbirds are expected to be the top seed in the 20-team national field which will be announced Monday. The Sunbirds will be making their 15th appearance in the National Championship under Janzen's leadership. The won the title in 1989 and 2003 and were the runners-up in 1999.

* Tonight's Game 3 loss was only the third the Sunbirds have dropped all season. It is the first at home. The others were in La Mirada on September 6 (Biola) and in Santa Clarita on September 29 (The Master's).

* With her five block assists Friday night against Point Loma Nazarene, Zuleta surpassed former teammate Mesha Wimer as FPU's total block record holder. Wimer totaled 665 blocks from 2001-04. Including the seven balls she blocked tonight Zuleta's total has reached 673.

* FPU ended the season with a perfect 18-0 record at home. It is the fifth time they have been undefeated at home (1996, 98, 03, 04, 05).

* The Sunbirds also extended their home undefeated streak to 54 consecutive matches. Their last loss came on Saturday, November 23, 2002, to Point Loma Nazarene in the 2002 Region 2 Championship match. The string does not include exhibition matches.

Saturday, November 19, 2005
NAIA Region 2 - Third Place Match
Sea Lions pull out 5-game win over Azusa Pacific

Box score

Fresno - Melissa Boer and Kate Alderson combined for 46 kills to power the fourth-seeded Point Loma Nazarene University Sea Lions to a 30-20, 22-30, 21-30, 30-28, 15-13 win over third-seed Azusa Pacific.

Boer led all players with 26 kills. Alderson was not far behind with 20 kills and also dug 18 balls and blocked two others.

Jenny Brickner led the Cougars (24-9) with 21 kills. Chelsea Morgan pounded 20 and Jessica De Jager and Megan Burch each added 17 kills.

The win means the Seas Lions (21-13) claim the at-large berth previously designated by the NAIA Selection Committee to the Region 2 third place winner.

The Cougars, ranked seventh in the final NAIA poll, are likely to gain an at-large berth, but must wait until the National Tournament Selection Committee officially announces the 20-team field Monday.

Quarterfinals - Tuesday, November 15, 2005
#4 Pt Loma Naz d. #5 Biola 30-25, 26-30, 30-22, 30-26
#3 Azusa Pacific d. #6 Concordia 24-30, 30-15, 30-23, 30-26
#2 Cal Baptist d. #7 Vanguard 30-26, 27-30, 30-25, 30-17
#1 Fresno Pacific d. #8 Menlo 30-12, 30-18, 30-15
Semifinals - Friday, November 18, 2005
at Fresno Pacific University
#2 California Baptist d. #3 Azusa Pacific 30-22, 21-30, 30-22, 30-24
#1 Fresno Pacific d. #4 Point Loma Nazarene 30-15, 30-22, 30-28
Championship Saturday, November 19, 2005
at Fresno Pacific University
Third place
#4 Point Loma Nazarene (21-13) d. #3 Azusa Pacific (24-9)
30-20, 22-30, 21-30, 30-28, 15-13
#1 Fresno Pacific (34-0) d. #2 California Baptist (28-4)
30-17, 30-16, 26-30, 30-22


Fresno Pacific University offers undergraduate and graduate programs that stress solid academic preparation and a strong ethical foundation. Each year more than 2,000 traditional and adult students attend classes on the 42-acre main campus in southeast Fresno or centers in Visalia and Bakersfield. The university also reaches 12,000 students across the nation and around the world through professional development studies programs. The only four-year Christian university in the Central Valley, FPU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and ranked in the top quarter among Western universities master's category by U.S. News & World Report.

2005 FPU vs.
Texas Wesleyan
Holy Names
Lindsey Wilson, KY
@ Biola *
@ Hope International *
@ Californnia Baptist *
@ The Master's *
@ CSU Bakersfield
@ San Diego Christian *
@ Pt Loma Nazarene *
@ Concordia *
@ Azusa Pacific *
@ Vanguard
@ Westmont *
@ CSU Stanislaus
NAIA Region 2 Championship
NAIA National Championship
#17Albertson, Idaho
#16 Lee, Tennessee
#9 Houston Baptist, Texas
#8 Gerorgetown, Kentucky
#2 California Baptist
Bold CAPS = Home contests
* Golden State Athletic Confernece match

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