Bulldog outsides power season sweep of Dakota Wesleyan
SEWARD, Neb. – After dropping the first set, Concordia volleyball stormed back for a 25-27, 25-20, 25-17, 25-11 win over visiting Dakota Wesleyan on a senior day Saturday for the Bulldogs. Both Concordia outside hitters produced big afternoons on the way to a season sweep of the Tigers. The Bulldogs improved their records to 17-12 overall and 5-10 in GPAC competition.
Head coach Scott Mattera said that his team regained its focus in the second set.
“It was probably very useful for us,” Mattera said of the adversity his team faced after losing the first set. “We turned a corner about two weeks ago in terms of understanding the amount of energy and focus it takes to win three sets in a row.
“Tonight was a good reminder that if we don’t bring it, it’s possible for us to get into a hole.”
The duo of sophomore Claire White and freshman Paige Getz combined for 30 kills on 68 swings on the outside. Dakota Wesleyan (7-26, 0-15 GPAC) found little answer as White and Getz were the driving force behind the team’s solid .284 hitting percentage for the match. Their play helped bring up the rest of the team after an uninspiring start.
“We really needed to get our energy up,” White said. “Saturday afternoon matches are kind of hard to get pumped up for, but as soon we got focused we kind of let that game slide. We started off really, really slow. We just really needed to build our momentum up and after that it really came through.”
White and Getz could not have done such damage without the work of freshman setter Alayna Kavanaugh, who again connected effectively with a host of teammates. Kavanaugh finished with 36 assists and even dropped in a career best six kills.
White brought the noise level in the arena to its highest level all evening when her thunderous kill beat the Dakota Wesleyan block in the fourth set to push Concordia’s lead to 18-10. That gave the Exeter, Neb., her 15th and final kill.
Freshman Tiegen Skains came up with a big defensive performance at the net with six total blocks. Fellow freshman Taylor Workman added nine kills and four total blocks. Junior Carli Smith pitched in with a match high 24 digs.
Both of Concordia’s only two seniors who were honored, Jillian Jensen and Jennifer Smith, saw action at the end of the fourth and final set.
Saturday’s match snapped a string of six-straight Concordia outings that ended in straight sets. Seventeen of the team’s 29 matches (58.6 percent) have been decided in only three sets.
Dakota Wesleyan was led by the 10 kills apiece from Hannah Hammer and Taylor Spence.
The Bulldogs close the regular season on Wednesday when they challenge No. 6 Midland (30-3, 12-3 GPAC) at 7:30 p.m. in Fremont, Neb. The Warriors won the first meeting between the two teams in straight sets on Sept. 11 in Seward. They also could meet up again in the quarterfinals of the GPAC tournament on Saturday, Nov. 9.
2 November 2013
Freshman Tiegen Skains