Volleyball Coaching Staff

Scott Mattera

Mattera_180.jpgHead Volleyball Coach

Hometown: Monroe, Mich. 
Alma Mater: University of Toledo

Scott Mattera completed his third season as Concordia University head volleyball coach in 2014. After three seasons at the helm of the program, Mattera holds an overall record of 47-47 (.500).

The native of Monroe, Mich., has the Bulldogs headed in a clear upward trajectory after leading the 2014 squad to the program's first 20-win season since 2007. The breakthrough campaign was highlighted by a fourth-place GPAC placement, marking Concordia's first top-four league finish since 2001. The 2014 Bulldogs also defeated three ranked opponents, advanced to the GPAC tournament semifinals and topped conference rivals Hastings and Doane for the first time since 2007. With a 10-6 conference mark, Concordia broke a school record for GPAC wins in a season.

The 20-win 2014 campaign came on the heels of a 17-14 record in 2013. The 17 victories were seven more than the team's total from 2012.

In Mattera's first season, he helped then senior Amanda Kisker develop into a first team all-conference selection. Kisker was the first Bulldog to be named to the first team since 2007. The 2014 season produced two more first team all-conference choices in Alayna Kavanaugh and Claire White - both named to the AVCA's All-West Central Region team. White also garnered NAIA honorable mention All-America accolades.

Mattera came to Concordia after serving most recently as the top assistant coach at Montreat College in Montreat, N.C. Mattera helped guide the Cavaliers to a 25-14 record in 2011 and a berth in the NAIA National Championship Tournament. In addition to coaching at Montreat, Mattera assisted with game management and taught in the sport management department.

Prior to Montreat, Mattera was a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Toledo during the 2010 season. During his one season with the Lady Rockets, Toledo upset the University of Michigan as well as the Creighton Blue Jays. Mattera also helped guide the Lady Rockers to a 3-0 victory over the top seeded Ball State Cardinals in the Mid-American Conference tournament. 

Mattera's administrative background  includes being the owner and general manager of Synergy Sports and Fitness of Toledo, a 60,000 square foot volleyball and fitness facility, from 2004-06.

Mattera holds a decorated coaching history in the Ohio high school ranks. He began his career in 2002 as the JV coach of St. Ursula Academy. In two years, he compiled a record of 44-3, winning back-to-back city championships. After taking a year off to open Synergy Sports and Fitness, Mattera returned to high school coaching as the head coach at Notre Dame Academy from 2005-10. In just his second year with the Notre Dame Academy the Eagles knocked off St. Ursula, ending their 139-match winning streak. 

Notre Dame Academy went on to win back-to-back city championships in 2007 and 2008 and won the district in 2007, the first in school history. Mattera was awarded the City League and District Coach of the Year in 2006 & 2007, and his teams were consistently ranked both in state and national polls. During his time at Notre Dame Academy, the Eagles produced five Division-1 college athletes, in addition to numerous D2, D3, NAIA, and NJCAA recruits.

Mattera earned his bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Toledo in 2001, graduating with honors while also playing for the men's club volleyball team. He is currently working towards a master's degree at University of Toledo, focusing on sports sociology.

Bulldogs Under Coach Mattera

2012: 10-21 Overall, 4-12 GPAC

2013: 17-14 Overall, 5-11 GPAC

2014: 20-12 Overall, 10-6 GPAC

Total:  47-47 Overall, 19-29 GPAC

Contact Coach Mattera

Natalie Nieman

Graduate Assistant Volleyball CoachNieman_180.jpg

Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
Alma Mater: Montreat College

Nieman completed her second season as Concordia University graduate assistant volleyball coach in 2014. The Bulldogs have posted a record of 37-26 during those two years.

The Charlotte, N.C., native played volleyball for four seasons at NAIA member Montreat College (N.C.). She earned Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament MVP honors as a senior in 2011 when she led the Cavaliers to a conference tournament title and a berth in the NAIA National Championships. Nieman also earned first team all-conference honors and totaled 4,235 assists, 1,370 digs and 168 service aces in 561 career matches at Montreat.

While a sophomore at Montreat, Nieman coached a club team in Morganton, N.C. After graduating in 2012, she took the reins of the varsity girls’ volleyball team at First Assembly Christian School while also teaching sixth grade math and eighth and ninth grade PE. In addition, she coached the 16s age group for the Carolina Storm Volleyball Club.

Nieman was coached by Bulldog head volleyball coach Scott Mattera, then an assistant coach, for one season at Montreat.

Nieman received her bachelor of science in human services with a minor in psychology from Montreat. She is pursuing her master’s in human services at Concordia.

Contact Coach Nieman

Alex Szalawiga

Assistant Coach

Hometown: Olathe, Kan.
Alma Mater: Concordia University, Nebraska

Alex Szalawiga completed her two-year graduate assistantship with the Concordia University volleyball team in 2012. Szalawiga, a native of Olathe, Kan., played for the Bulldogs during the 2009 and 2010 seasons after transferring from a junior college. In addition to her role as a volleyball assistant, she currently serves as an admissions counsleor at Concordia. Szalawiga has now spent a total of four seasons on the Bulldog volleyball coaching staff.

Alex appeared in 31 matches during her junior season in 2009. She totaled 110 kills and 78 digs on the year. She started all 32 matches for Concordia in her senior season. She finished fourth on the team with 205 kills and was second on the team with 319 digs. She also added 21 assists, 20 service aces and 36 total blocks in 2010. Szalawiga was a 2010 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete.

Contact Coach Szalawiga

Rachel Miller

Director of Volleyball OperationsMiller-Rachel_180.jpg

Hometown: Clarinda, Iowa
Alma Mater: Concordia University, Nebraska

Rachel Miller returned to the Concordia University volleyball staff after a one-year absence (2012). Miller, the Bulldog head coach from 2005-2011, is in her second season as the program's director of operations in 2014-15.

During Miller's seven-year tenure as head coach, she led Concordia to a record of 107-125. She guided the Bulldogs to 20-plus victories for three-consecutive seasons from 2005-2007.

She is a 2003 Concordia graduate and member of the school's athletic hall of fame. As a player at Concordia, Miller amassed 1,343 career kills and 760 blocks while receiving first team all-conference honors three times. In 2001 she earned NAIA third team all-America accolades. She also picked up all-conference recognition on the basketball court.