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December 11, 1987|RALPH NICHOLS | Times Staff Writer

OMAHA, Neb. — Cal State Northridge plays Ferris State tonight in the semifinals of the NCAA Division II women's volleyball championships and the Lady Matadors are fully aware of their opponent's capabilities.

Top-ranked Northridge (33-7) defeated Ferris State in three games at the Premier tournament in Colorado Springs, Colo., in November--a memorable and difficult match for the Lady Matadors.

"We felt very threatened and challenged in all three games," CSUN Coach Walt Ker said. "As the match was going on, I said that this was an outstanding team."

Northridge defeated Cal State Sacramento to win the Division II Western regional last weekend and qualify for its seventh consecutive berth in the NCAA Final Four. Ferris State, in Big Rapids, Mich., defeated North Dakota State to win the Great Lakes region.

Three-time All-American Patty Theis, a 6-0 senior middle blocker, leads the offense for sixth-ranked Ferris State (40-7), along with senior setter Wendy McCann and junior outside hitter Janna Biggs.

Nebraska-Omaha (34-5), ranked third in the nation, plays No. 2 Central-Missouri State (41-3) in tonight's other semifinal.

The winners meet Saturday at 6 p.m. PST for the championship.

Two-time All-Americans Angela Brinton and Sue Darcey lead the CSUN offense. Brinton and Darcey were named to the American Volleyball Coaches Assn. Division II All-American first team at a banquet here Thursday night.

Northridge is vying for its second title in five years; Ferris State and Central-Missouri are both playing in the Final Four for the first time. Nebraska-Omaha has qualified for the Final Four three consecutive years.

If Nebraska-Omaha and Northridge win tonight, it would set up a rematch of last year's dramatic semifinal match in which Northridge defeated the Lady Mavs, 16-14, 13-15, 10-15, 15-13, 15-13.

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