SIOUX CITY, Iowa -- The third-seeded Lee University volleyball team had to go to a fifth set for the second straight evening before pulling out a win Thursday in the NAIA national tournament, but the Lady Flames finished 3-0 in pool play by downing Southern Oregon 27-29, 25-16, 25-16, 17-25, 15-9. Southern Oregon, ranked 10th in the final regular-season poll, was 2-1 in pool play and advanced with the Lady Flames to the 12-team elimination bracket. Lee, 33-2 with 27 wins in a row, gets a bye into a quarterfinal tonight at 9 EST against sixth-seed Biola or No. 11 Fresno Pacific. Arlene Ferreira had 22 kills, 19 digs and two solo blocks for Lee, which got 12 and 10 kills from Marija Zelenovic and Christa Hutchison, 37 assists from Kelsey Leffew, 21 assists and 10 digs from Gretchen Higdon, 24 digs from Sarah Smith and 14 digs from Stephanie Todd. Sarah Holgen had 17 kills and 24 digs and Megan Bartling made 14 kills for the Raiders, and Caryn Westrick and Angela Spieker had 28 and 23 assists.
• DECATUR, Ala. -- The Lee University women's soccer team is two wins away from its fourth NAIA national championship, but the third-seeded Lady Flames (21-2) must get past No. 2 seed Azusa Pacific (15-2-2) in their 5 p.m. EST semifinal today. Matt Yelton is 200-33-6 in his 10 seasons as Lee's coach. Azusa edged the Lady Flames 2-1 on Aug. 27 in Portland, Ore., two days after Lee clipped Concordia (Ore.) 1-0 in the season opener. Lee has won 18 in a row since losing 3-1 to Lindsey Wilson on Sept. 17, and top-seeded Lindsey Wilson lost 2-1 Wednesday night to eighth seed Concordia. Concordia (18-4-1) plays at 2:30 p.m. EST today against fifth seed Point Loma Nazarene (19-1-4), which advanced on penalty kicks in its last two matches.
• University of Tennessee co-head softball coach Ralph Weekly, the former UT-Chattanooga coach, is being inducted tonight in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame at the NFCA convention in Las Vegas. Ithaca coach Deb Pallozzi is going in as well. "This is a tremendous honor, especially since the selection came from my peers," said Weekly, who coached Pacific Lutheran to NAIA national titles in 1988 and '92 and assisted on U.S. gold-medal teams in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics. "The NFCA Hall of Fame and its 49 previous inclusions represent the best of the best in our profession, and I am humbled to be chosen for membership in this group." He credited his assistant coaches and players throughout the years for the honor and specifically praised his wife and co-head coach, Karen, and their assistant Marty McDaniel, a native Chattanoogan. Weekly was the USA Softball national teams director from 1999 to 2001, during which time Karen took over him at UTC. The Weeklys have 514 wins in 10 years with the Lady Vols, with four top-three finishes at the Women's College World Series in seven years.
• The Chattanooga Rugby Football Club is having its annual holiday party that doubles as a Toys for Tots fundraiser Saturday evening at Table 2 Grill & Lounge. The party is for the club, but anyone interested in helping the charity may drop off unwrapped toys at the 6-9 p.m. event. The club also will be starting practice for the 2012 season in January and welcomes new players. Anyone interested can check www.noogarugby.com.
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