GPAC road swing continues with loss at Briar Cliff

GPAC road swing continues with loss at Briar Cliff

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Concordia volleyball continued its GPAC road tour with the second of three-straight away matches. The Bulldogs fell to 0-2 on the road swing after Friday night’s 25-17, 25-17, 26-24 loss at Briar Cliff in Sioux City, Iowa. Head coach Scott Mattera’s club stands at 15-11 overall and 4-9 in conference action.

“We didn't play particularly well tonight and Briar Cliff fed off their raucous ‘pink night’ crowd,” Mattera said. “They played inspired volleyball that we couldn't overcome.”

The Chargers, spurred by their crowd along with a great service game, got 11 kills on 17 swings and four total blocks from middle blocker Jenna Berg. For the match, Briar Cliff outhit Concordia .270 to .099.

“Briar Cliff served extremely well and it caused some issues in our passing game,” Mattera said. “We got desperate with everything that was going on and didn't play smart. This was the simple case of a mature team at home and a developing team on the road. We're going to regroup and come back harder tomorrow against Dordt.”

The Bulldogs were just one play away from taking the third set, leading 24-22. The Chargers (17-11, 6-7 GPAC) came through in the clutch with four-straight points as the match ended with a Concordia error on the attack.

The Bulldogs had fought back from a three-point deficit early in the third set to take a 13-12 lead. Freshman Taylor Workman went for a kill and then combined with freshman Tiegen Skains on a block that put their side ahead, 13-12. Sophomore Claire White later smashed a kill that pushed the lead to 20-18 and made Briar Cliff burn a timeout.

Concordia again gave its opponent fits at times with its aggressive serving. The Bulldogs grabbed an 11-9 first-set advantage powered by early aces from juniors Michala Maurer and Mariah Schamp (two aces on the night). The Chargers adjusted and took a 16-13 lead to force a Concordia timeout. However, it did little to slow down Briar Cliff, which reeled off 16 of the last 22 points in the contest’s opening set.

Schamp and freshman Paige Getz led the Bulldogs with eight kills apiece. Freshman Alayna Kavanaugh had 23 assists and White and junior Carli Smith both dug up nine attacks.

The loss knocks Concordia’s record down to 3-4 in true road matches. The Bulldogs hold conference road wins over Dakota Wesleyan and Mount Marty.

The Bulldogs remain in western Iowa to take on No. 18-ranked Dordt (18-5, 9-3 GPAC) at 5 p.m. on Saturday. The Defenders have won seven of their last eight matches, including an upset of then No. 5 Midland on Sept. 28. Last season Dordt defeated Concordia in straight sets in Sioux Center, Iowa.

With three conference matches remaining, the Bulldogs are close to solidifying a spot in the eight-team GPAC tournament, which begins Nov. 9. Concordia, a likely No. 7 or 8 seed in the tournament, could still rise as high as the sixth seed.

25 October 2013

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