Bulldogs bound for weekend trip to Dakotas

By Jacob Knabel on Sep. 27, 2018 in Volleyball

SEWARD, Neb. – Idle since last week’s match with 15th-ranked Northwestern, the Concordia University volleyball team is getting set for some quality time on the road. The Bulldogs will depart Thursday afternoon, destined for Jamestown, N.D., as part of a Dakota weekend swing. Conference play continues with matches at Jamestown on Friday night and at Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon.

This week
Friday, Sept. 28 at Jamestown (13-3, 4-2 GPAC), 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 29 at Dakota Wesleyan (11-7, 1-5 GPAC), 3 p.m.

Stretch Internet will be the host for live streams on both Friday and Saturday. Click the links below at game time in order to watch the matches live.
-Jamestown Stretch Internet portal
-Dakota Wesleyan Stretch Internet portal

First-year head coach Ben Boldt’s squad has dropped five in a row, including three against GPAC opponents currently ranked in the NAIA coaches’ top 25 poll. While Concordia (12-5, 2-5 GPAC) is looking for its first win since Sept. 8, there were positive signs in the third set of last week’s loss to the Red Raiders. During that stretch, the Bulldogs hit .488 with 21 kills and no errors in showing how dangerous their offensive attack can look against even the elite teams in the nation. Led by the likes of middle Emmie Noyd, Concordia ranks 20th nationally in hitting percentage (.230).

A native of Shelby, Neb., Noyd continues to be the team’s most reliable attacking option. During last week’s gauntlet that included three matches in five days (vs. Doane, at No. 13 Hastings, vs. No. 15 Northwestern), Noyd paced the Bulldogs with 28 combined kills while hitting .329. Noyd ranks 31st nationally with her season hitting percentage of .319. Noyd is also an important factor in an area that has been trending positively – the team’s blocking. Concordia has moved to 21st in the NAIA in blocks per set (2.20). Three regulars on the court average at least 0.5 blocks per set: Noyd (1.06), sophomore Tara Callahan (0.80) and freshman Morgan Nibbe (0.68).

A victory at Jamestown would give the Bulldogs something to build upon. The GPAC’s newest member is the conference’s No. 5 team, according to the most recent official GPAC rankings. The Jimmies were situated just outside the top 25 poll that was released on Sept. 18. Statistically, Jamestown has been a strong defensive team. It sports national rankings of 12th in blocks per set (2.44) and 29th in digs per set (17.77). Opposing teams have hit .135 against the Jimmies. Jamestown has one of the NAIA’s top five individuals in both digs per set (Julina Niemeier) and blocks per set (Britta Knudson).

Dakota Wesleyan got out to a 9-0 start to the season before running into Jamestown on Sept. 4 in what amounted to a four-set win for the Jimmies. The Tigers picked up their lone GPAC win so far by knocking off Mount Marty in straight sets on Sept. 13. Dakota Wesleyan outside hitter Rebecca Frick currently ranks second among GPAC players with an average of 4.5 kills per set. The Tigers rank 11th in the NAIA in digs per set (18.75).

Concordia also has a light week coming up with only a home match with Briar Cliff (Friday, Oct. 5) in the immediate future. After this weekend, just seven matches will remain on the regular-season schedule.