Broncos block Bulldog bid for season sweep of rival

By on Oct. 15, 2014 in Volleyball

Broncos block Bulldog bid for season sweep of rival

HASTINGS, Neb. – Hoping to duplicate its home win over then No. 18 Hastings on Sept. 24, the Concordia University volleyball team hit only .107 in a 25-20, 26-24, 25-19 loss to the host Broncos at Lynn Farrell Arena on Wednesday night. Hastings (15-8, 5-5 GPAC), which defeated then No. 8 Midland a week earlier, won for the third time in its last four matches.

Third-year head coach Scott Mattera’s squad saw its three-match win streak snapped and moved to 15-8 overall and 6-4 in the GPAC (tied for fourth place).

Any momentum Concordia mustered seemed to be followed by a Hastings block. Ranked 24th in the NAIA in blocks per game (2.21) entering the night, the Broncos piled up 18 on Wednesday. They got 12 from reigning GPAC player of the week Logan Drueppel and six from Katie Zoucha to stifle a typically efficient Bulldog offensive attack.

“Wow, we flat out ran into a buzz saw tonight,” Mattera said. “Hastings played amazingly well. Their blocking was off the charts good tonight and they backed it up with some really scrappy play and some lights out serve receive. We played a pretty solid match, they were just better.”

Even in a straight-sets defeat, Mattera saw many things he liked from his squad. But playing on the road in the GPAC is rarely a cakewalk.

“Our serve receive was good, our blocking and defense was good, our attitude and effort were good,” Mattera said. “We need to make a few adjustments to throw their block rhythm off a bit more and maybe serve a bit tougher but this is not one to hang our heads about. This is life in the GPAC.”

The Broncos set the tone in the first set by jumping out to a 13-5 advantage, forcing two quick Concordia timeouts. Concordia got back within 15-11 before the home team regained control. In the second set, the Bulldogs tallied the first three points in what turned into tight game all the way through.

The Bulldogs got 13 kills and 10 digs from junior Claire White and another eight kills from sophomore Tiegen Skains. Sophomore Alayna Kavanaugh dished out 33 assists while senior Michala Maurer dropped in a pair of aces.

Morgan Heise led the way with 10 kills for a Bronco attack that hit much better on Wednesday (.252) compared to its hitting percentage (.175) in the first meeting with Concordia.

The Bulldogs have the weekend off before beginning a busy week at home next Tuesday when they welcome No. 14 (NCAA DIII) Nebraska Wesleyan (16-4, 4-4 GPAC) for a 7:30 p.m. match. Concordia will try to avenge a four-set loss to the Prairie Wolves in Lincoln on Sept. 30.