Volleyball ramps up schedule difficulty for 2014
SEWARD, Neb. – The 2014 Concordia University volleyball team will be tested in a big way on the opening weekend of the new season. Third-year head coach Scott Mattera will put his Bulldogs up against 2013 national semifinalist Concordia-Irvine and perennial powerhouse Vanguard University (Calif.) as part of a challenging 13-match non-conference slate. The full schedule, released Wednesday, can be viewed HERE.
The season is set to open up 2014 on Aug. 29 at the two-day Asics/Wyndham Labor Day Tournament hosted by Concordia University, Irvine.
“I’m really excited about our schedule this year and the girls are too,” Mattera said. “Obviously what jumps out at you is the early season trip to California. We are at the stage in our program development that we want to go out and challenge the best and that’s what we are going to see out there. Also, playing our sister school of Concordia, Irvine is exciting for the Concordia community as a whole.”
The non-conference schedule will include four teams that were ranked in the NAIA’s 2013 postseason coaches’ poll: Concordia-Irvine (No. 3), Oklahoma Baptist (No. 13), Vanguard (No. 19) and Bellevue (No. 25).
The Bulldogs will be home for the first time on Sept. 13 when both Friends University (Kan.) and Peru State visit Walz Arena for a tri-match. Concordia will again host “Think Pink” night in support of breast cancer awareness. That match will take place Oct. 24 when Briar Cliff comes to town.
Other key home dates against 2013 top teams will be Oct. 25 versus Dordt (No. 11 in final 2013 poll) and Nov. 5 in the regular-season finale versus 2013 GPAC tournament champion Midland. The Bulldogs also host rivals in Hastings (Sept. 24), Doane (Oct. 10) and Nebraska Wesleyan (Oct. 21).
Based on the 2013 postseason poll, Concordia has 11 matches scheduled against teams that finished the season with votes in the national rankings.
“It’s a really difficult schedule with tough matches in and out of conference,” Mattera said. “Comparing records year over year isn’t really an accurate way of gauging improvement. We ramped up our out of conference schedule to see where we are and to prepare us for the always brutal GPAC. There’s a chance that over half of our matches will be against nationally ranked teams. We know we are ready for that level and excited to get after it.”
At the junior varsity level, the Bulldogs will have more non-conference contests in addition to the usual slate of league matches.
Spring match Friday vs. Iowa Western: Head coach Scott Mattera and the Concordia University volleyball program will host an official spring match open to the public at 7 p.m. on Friday (free admission). National junior college powerhouse Iowa Western Community College will visit Walz Arena and serve as the opponent.
“We see the finish of spring season as the start of the fall season,” Mattera said. “We are really excited to bring in a team like Iowa Western Friday night. It should be a good opportunity for the fans to see what we’ve been working on against a national power house.”
30 April 2014
Sophomore-to-be Paige Getz and the Bulldog volleyball program officially begins the 2014 season on Aug. 29 at the Asics/Wyndham Labor Day Tournament hosted by Concordia University, Irvine.