YANKTON, S.D. – Having been pushed hard in its first meeting with Mount Marty, the Concordia University volleyball team ramped up its level of play on Friday night, trouncing the host Lancers, 25-19, 25-15, 25-17. The Bulldogs earned a season sweep of Mount Marty (11-18, 3-11 GPAC) and have now won three-consecutive GPAC matches.
Third-year head coach Scott Mattera’s squad bumped its records to 18-10 overall (surpassing last year’s 17 wins) and 9-5 in the GPAC. The latest win pulled Concordia back into a third-place tie with Dordt.
“We played really well tonight,” Mattera said. “When we rack up 39 kills and no one had double digits, you know our offense was back and running smooth. Defensively our discipline was fantastic and our serving was on point.
“Everyone had highlights but I'd credit Alayna (Kavanaugh) for a great mix, Claire (White) for a variety of shots and Michala Maurer really put us in good position with some great serving.”
After an off night in the loss at Bellevue University on Tuesday, the Bulldog offensive attack returned in impressive fashion on Friday. Sophomore Paige Getz (nine kills) led a quartet of hitters with between seven and nine kills. Freshman Annie Friesen (eight), senior Mariah Schamp (seven) and Claire White (seven) followed Getz in the kill department. They were facilitated by Kavanaugh, who piled up 32 assists.
Schamp needed only 14 swings to record her seven kills for a Bulldog squad that outhit the Lancers .255 to .075.
“Mariah Schamp played another really good match, hitting .500 on the night against a defense pinched to stop the middles,” Mattera said. “I'm so proud of how her and Annie totally understood when we asked them to sacrifice in the 3rd game and be decoys to open up the pin hitters.”
In the dominant win, Concordia trailed in just four brief instances all night – 1-0 in set one, 7-6 in set two, 8-7 in set two and 1-0 in set three. The Bulldogs pulled away in all three sets and really got going in the second when they hit .400 prior to attacking at a .308 clip in the third.
Friesen (three blocks) and company did a number on Lancer leading attacker Sierra Kloth (2.9 kills per game entering the night), holding her to two kills and a negative hitting percentage. Senior Carli Smith led the defensive effort in the back row with eight digs, tying Kavanaugh for a team high. White and Jocelyn Garcia added seven digs apiece.
Once again, the Bulldogs served missiles, piling up 12 aces (compared to Mount Marty’s five) on the evening. White dropped in five, Maurer floored three and Garcia added two.
Concordia improved to 9-9 away from Walz Arena. The Bulldogs are now 3-4 in GPAC road contests.
The Bulldogs continue their South Dakota trek on Saturday with a 4 p.m. match at Dakota Wesleyan (8-19, 1-13 GPAC). Concordia will seek a season sweep of the Tigers having already defeated them in four sets in Seward on Oct. 4. The Bulldogs can lock up a top-four GPAC seed and conference tournament quarterfinal home match with a win on Saturday.