Bulldogs ready for four matches in season's opening week

By Jacob Knabel on Aug. 20, 2018 in Volleyball

SEWARD, Neb. – The first week of classes coincides with the opening week of the 2018 season for the Concordia University volleyball program. New head coach Ben Boldt is set to make his Bulldog debut on Tuesday when the program welcomes York College to Walz Arena. Concordia will also venture to Orange City, Iowa, for a trio of weekend matches against additional nonconference foes.

The Concordia Sports Network will debut an improved webcast alongside radio coverage provided by 104.9 Max Country on Tuesday. For live coverage from Orange City, check out Northwestern’s Stretch Internet portal.

This week

  • Tuesday vs. York College, 7 p.m. CT
  • Friday vs. Waldorf University, 2:30 p.m. CT (Orange City, Iowa)
  • Friday vs. Baker University, 8:30 p.m. CT (Orange City, Iowa)
  • Saturday vs. MidAmerica Nazarene University, 11 a.m. CT (Orange City, Iowa)

Both squads will be breaking in new head coaches on Tuesday night. York is now led by Crystal Nething, who replaced Erin Freeman. Thus, there are plenty of unknowns on both sides. Some Bulldog fans got an sneak peek at Boldt’s group at last week’s blue-white intrasquad match. At least to open things up, junior Kaci Hohenthaner figures to quarterback Concordia at the setter position. In terms of sheer number of kills, the leading returner attackers are Alex La Plant (247 kills in 2017), Jenna Habegger (219) and Emmie Noyd (176). Now a sophomore, Marissa Hoerman totaled 224 digs in her rookie campaign.

The Bulldogs checked in at No. 8 in the GPAC preseason coaches’ poll, exactly where they finished in 2017. York slotted in at 12th out of 13 teams in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference poll. The Panthers went 6-29 in 2017. Respective 2017 records for the rest of this week’s opponents were 5-27 for Waldorf, 13-19 for Baker and 24-10 for MidAmerica Nazarene. Waldorf is a member of the North Star Athletic Association while Baker and MidAmerica Nazarene both reside in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. Each of this week’s opponents are also still waiting to begin their seasons as of the start of the week.

Two of this week’s contests will be rematches of 2017 clashes. Concordia fell in straight sets to Baker in last year’s season opener. Not long after, the Bulldogs toppled York in four sets. In that victory over the Panthers, La Plant sizzled with 15 kills on 27 swings while Habegger added 11 on 18 attacks.

Concordia will have an extended stay at home next week when it hosts Kansas Wesleyan University on Aug. 29 before staging the Bulldog Bash (Aug. 31 – Sept. 1). Next week’s schedule also features four Bulldog matches.