SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Another road opportunity slipped through the fingers of the Concordia University volleyball team on Saturday (Oct. 28) afternoon. The Bulldogs let a chance to keep the match alive get away from them in the third set and fell at Briar Cliff, 25-21, 25-21, 25-21. The defeat ended a string of four-straight victories for Concordia.
Sixth-year head coach Scott Mattera’s squad sits at 9-17 overall and at 3-12 in conference play with one match remaining in the regular season. The Bulldogs are currently tied for eighth place in the GPAC standings.
“That was a good volleyball match between two pretty evenly matched teams,” Mattera said. “They just played a touch better and really stepped up their block when it mattered most. There were so many ups and downs and both teams scrapped pretty hard. We were right there just need to keep growing and improving. I love this team and what it's capable of. I can't wait to get in the gym Monday and Tuesday to get ready for Midland.”
Junior Jenna Habegger got off to a hot start with five kills in the opening set, but the host Chargers (18-7, 8-7 GPAC) hit .325 during that stretch. Briar Cliff cooled off over the final two sets while dealing with Concordia defensive specialist Marissa Hoerman (match high 20 digs). Defensively for the Chargers, Kiya Alderson (seven blocks) led a front row that out-blocked the Bulldogs, 12-4.
Habegger ended up topping Concordia with nine kills. Sophomore middle Emmie Noyd added seven kills and freshman setter Tara Callahan put up 26 assists, six kills and four digs. The Bulldogs were outhit, .223 to .130. Briar Cliff’s attack was led by Toni Beck (10 kills on 26 attacks).
The Chargers will be seeded anywhere from fifth through seventh in the GPAC tournament, depending upon how the regular-season concludes. On the other hand, Concordia needs a win or a Dakota Wesleyan loss to Morningside next week in order to clinch the No. 8 seed in the postseason.
The regular-season finale is set for Wednesday (Nov. 1) when ninth-ranked Midland (17-7, 10-4 GPAC) is slated to make a visit to Walz Arena. First serve of the varsity match is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT. The two teams met in Fremont for the conference opener back on Sept. 6 with the result being a straight sets win for the Warriors. The Bulldogs have gone 8-7 at home this season.