Fresno Pacific's quest for a fifth straight NAIA volleyball championship has turned onto a familiar path.
The Sunbirds emerged from pool play at the national tournament in Sioux City, Iowa, as the 11th seed and will take on Golden State Athletic Conference rival and sixth-seeded Biola at 10:30 a.m. today. The winner advances to a 6 p.m. quarterfinal against No. 3 Lee (Tenn.)
Fresno Pacific (17-12) and Biola (26-12) have split two matches this season, with the Sunbirds winning 3-1 in La Mirada on Oct. 11, and the Eagles pulling out a 3-2 win in Fresno on Nov. 8
"I think we match up well against them," Sunbirds coach Kelly Winter said. "It's going to be tough and we're going to have to play hard. They have a ton of offensive weapons. From here on out we're going to have to play lights-out to beat anyone."
Kathleen Anderson had 12 kills and Jessie Alcorn 11 as Fresno Pacific lost to Texas-Brownsville 25-22, 25-19, 25-14 on Thursday, leaving the Sunbirds 2-1 in Pool B. Fresno Pacific hit .171 overall, including a sub-.060 in the second and third sets.
After sweeping the Sunbirds for the second time this season and finishing 3-0 in Pool B, Brownsville is the No. 2 seed and awaits the winner of No. 7 Embry-Riddle and No. 10 Southern Oregon in the quarterfinals.
Biola went 3-0 to win Pool D, riding 19 kills from former Central Valley Christian High standout Amy Weststeyn to a 3-2 win over Embry-Riddle, which received 13 kills from Clovis West product Emily Jacobson.