Bulldogs drop two at Bellevue Labor Day Classic

By on Sep. 1, 2012 in Volleyball

Bulldogs drop two at Bellevue Labor Day Classic

BELLEVUE, Neb. – Saturday’s stiff competition provided the Bulldog volleyball team with an early-season measuring stick. Concordia (1-3) succumbed 25-20, 24-26, 25-12, 25-13 to No. 13 Grand View (Iowa) in its first match of the day. Head coach Scott Mattera’s squad then completed its four-match slate at the Bellevue Labor Day Classic with a 25-14, 25-21, 25-22 loss to No. 19 Bellevue.

Concordia competed admirably with the Vikings, the defending Midwest Collegiate Conference champions, for the first two sets as it evened the match at 1-1 after taking game No. 2, 26-24. But Grand View asserted itself in the closing third and fourth sets with dominant, 25-12, 25-13, decisions. The Vikings’ Kadie Subbert enjoyed a big day, going for 15 kills on the strength of a .517 hitting percentage.

The Bulldogs were led by the 10 kills from senior outside hitter Amanda Kisker. Sophomore defensive specialist Carli Smith paced the team with 25 digs while sophomore setter Jami Nekoliczak had 19 assists. Despite hitting only .094 as a team, Mattera was pleased with his squad’s effort against one of the nation’s top teams.

“It showed how effective we can be when we pass well and show great mental hustle,” Mattera said. “It also showed how difficult things can get when we lose our edge. Overall our serve receive was fantastic.

“We were so high after that game 2 win that we couldn't help but come down some. We need to get to get to the point that we can stay high and expect performances like that and sustain it. We are young and learning and this was a very valuable lesson for us as we move forward and I'm glad it happened early in the season.”

The Bruins then swept Concordia in straight sets in the final match of the weekend for both teams. Sophomore Amanda Abbott struck for a match-high 10 kills, but the Bulldogs could not overcome a .287-.126 disadvantage in attack percentage.

Nekoliczak added 13 assists and three service aces and sophomore Kayla James tallied 17 assists and seven digs for Concordia. Annie Benson and Sydney Deboer led Belleuve with eight kills apiece.

All three of the Bulldogs losses over the weekend in Bellevue came to teams either ranked in the NAIA preseason coaches’ poll or receiving votes.

Concordia begins Great Plains Athletic Conference play on Sept. 5 when it travels to Fremont, Neb., to challenge Midland.