FREMONT, Neb. – The No. 17 Concordia volleyball team made its first GPAC Championship appearance on Saturday, Nov. 14. The Bulldogs faced the No. 8 Midland University Warriors in Fremont and were defeated in straight sets (25-20, 25-17, 25-16). Sophomore Annie Friesen had nine kills in 11 attempts to lead Concordia.
Said head coach Scott Mattera, “We struggled in the serve and pass game and you can’t do that verse a team like that. Our fingers are crossed for nationals and we’re going to move forward and learn from it. We have to be mentally tougher and stay together and play the next point.”
The Concordia Bulldogs are now 26-8 on the season while the Midland Warriors improve to 29-3.
In the first frame, the Bulldogs hit .179 and put up a team high 13 kills. Concordia went on a four point run to take a 14-12 lead featuring a kill each by Paige Getz and Taylor Workman. The Warriors took the lead back on a Bulldog attacking error and led the rest of the way.
The Warriors jumped to a 9-4 lead in the second set. CUNE trailed for the entire set with the exception of a 15-15 tie. The Bulldogs went on a 6-2 run to knot up the game. The ‘Dogs registered nine kills in the set.
Midland shut down Concordia in the third set, forcing six attack errors. CUNE was able to put a three point run early in the frame to come within two but struggled to hang on. The Warriors took charge of the set, recording a match high 15 kills in the frame.
Friesen led the Bulldogs with a .818 hitting percentage, recording nine kills and no errors in 11 attempts. Getz and Workman added six and five kills, respectively. Kavanaugh dished out 26 assists in the match. Claire White, Kendra Dinkel and Jocelyn Garcia each recorded a service ace.
“We don’t change who we are just because of a bad hour and a half,” Mattera said. “Regardless of what happened here today this is still one of the greatest seasons in the history of Concordia volleyball. They have brought a community together behind them – how awesome was our crowd here at Midland today? It was so cool to see how many people care now and that’s a credit to our girls. Regardless of what happens whether we’re in or out, it’s been a heck of year and I wouldn’t trade this team for anyone.”
As a team, the Bulldogs hit .068 in the afternoon match. The team also put up five blocks, 28 kills and 41 digs.
Mattera said, “We’re right on the bubble, it depends if there are upsets in the other conferences that would knock at-large bids around. As of last week, we were kind of the last team in. We may move up in the rankings after making the finals in this unbelievable conference. That would be my hope.”
The No. 17 Concordia volleyball team will wait until Monday, Nov. 16 to see if there is a NAIA Tournament spot waiting for them. The selection show will be available HERE at 10 a.m. CDT.