Schamp, Workman power Bulldogs at Hastings College Classic

Schamp, Workman power Bulldogs at Hastings College Classic

HASTINGS, Neb. – After opening the GPAC season on Wednesday, Bulldog volleyball took a break from conference play and split a pair of matches on Friday at the Hastings College Classic. Concordia pushed No. 5 Oklahoma Baptist hard in the first set but was eventually swept by the Bison. The Bulldogs (7-3) capped the day with a dominant 25-12, 25-21, 25-11 win over Dakota State (S.D.).

In the middle, Concordia got eye-popping production from junior Mariah Schamp and freshman Taylor Workman. Schamp continued her fine early season by swatting 10 kills on 13 swings. Workman was even more efficient with 11 kills on 12 swings in completely overpowering the Trojans.

“This is a team that beat us last year and we just came out with an attitude,” Mattera said. “Our passing was good, Alayna (Kavanaugh) distributed well and our middles were just unstoppable.

“Shout out to Jami (Nekoliczak) and Kayla (James) for some great defense and leadership and to Emily Metschke and Jen Smith who had their first varsity kill and block, respectively.”

Kavanaugh put up 42 assists in serving as the catalyst for the offense once again.

For parts of Friday’s first match, Concordia appeared capable of matching up the defending Sooner Athletic Conference champions from Shawnee, Okla. The Bison (7-2) took the match, 28-26, 25-19, 25-18, after escaping the first set by a narrow decision.

“This match was both infuriating and encouraging,” Bulldog head coach Scott Mattera said. “We have to be happy with the way we continued to fight back every time we went down. On the other side it's about time to stop using our youth and lack of experience together as an excuse for mental lapses.

“The most encouraging thing about this match though was that we proved that when we play clean and run our stuff, it works and will work against anyone.”

Sophomores Claire White and Kelsey Dinkel paced Concordia with nine kills apiece on the attack against Oklahoma Baptist. Freshman outside hitter Paige Getz posted eight kills and Schamp and Workman each added five kills in the middle.

Kavanaugh put forth another fine effort with 29 assists. Defensively, junior Carli Smith, named GPAC Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday, tallied another 18 digs.

Kavanaugh, a native of Lincoln, has 206 assists in five matches (19 sets) since taking over as the setter in Mattera’s 5-1 offensive system. She is averaging 10.8 assists per game over that stretch.

The Bulldogs will battle another nationally-ranked foe on Wednesday when they return to GPAC action. No. 11 Midland (14-0) will visit Seward for a 7:30 p.m. match.

6 September 2013

*No box scores available

Taylor Workman