Bulldogs stifle No. 24 Doane in road domination

By on Sep. 16, 2015 in Volleyball

Bulldogs stifle No. 24 Doane in road domination

CRETE, Neb. – For the third time in eight days, the Concordia University volleyball team made a victim out of a nationally-ranked opponent. Unfazed by an energetic Haddix Center on the Doane College campus, the Bulldogs used a razor-sharp performance to knock off the 24th-ranked Tigers, 25-20, 25-19, 25-15, in a match that lasted less than 80 minutes on Wednesday night.

Fourth-year head coach Scott Mattera’s squad got the signature road victory it sought and improved to 12-3 overall and 2-0 in conference play.

The Bulldogs used a second-straight big performance from sophomore middle Annie Friesen (10 kills, .526 hitting percentage) and a yeoman’s defensive effort that suffocated host Doane (10-5, 1-1 GPAC). There was plenty of additional praise to go around. Junior Tiegen Skains pounded 10 kills on 15 attempts and Jocelyn Garcia tracked down 17 attacks in the back row.

For any Bulldog opponent, each match results in a game of pick your poison. Pinch the middle and you risk allowing Skains, Paige Getz and Claire White have a field day on the outsides.

“She was a monster,” Mattera said of Skains’ night. “We know she’s capable of that. What are you going to do? Give up our middles or give up our outsides? OK, Tiegen’s got you. When we’re in system, that’s a lot of options.”

So flustered was Doane by the end of the night that it managed to have more attack errors (five) than kills (four) in the final set. The Bulldogs bulldozed the Tigers with statistical advantages of 45-21 in kills, 43-28 in digs and .268 to .035 in hitting percentage.

“We just went out and played lights out,” Skains said. “Nobody was really worried about a whole lot. It was fun to play tonight. We were all comfortable.”

Concordia tamed the Tigers during an impressive run of nine-straight points that turned a 3-3 tie into a 12-3 lead in the second set. Friesen started the point binge with three quick kills and then punctuated it with a block that set off her signature rock star-like celebration. Doane clawed back within 23-19 before a Taylor Workman kill and Tiger attack error put the Bulldogs in command.

Garcia, a native of Brighton, Colo., again cleaned up in the back row while teaming with White (nine digs) and Kendra Dinkel (seven digs). Concordia’s depth extends beyond its wealth of powerful hitters.

“You can depend on anybody,” Garcia said. “No matter who’s back there, everyone’s going to take care of their jobs. It’s not just one person.”

A significant shift in momentum occurred with Concordia leading 18-17 in the first set. A Doane player who tried to drop in a sneaky kill was called for a lift. On the next rally, White pounded a missile of a kill that handcuffed a backrow Tiger. Doane called timeout, but Concordia rode that high to an early 1-0 advantage.

Concordia now owns wins over No. 19 Hastings, No. 20 Montana Tech and No. 24 Doane. The Bulldogs have won each of the last three meetings (two on the road) with Doane, which fell to 1-1 this season at home.

Getz equaled Friesen and Skains with a match high 10 kills. Alayna Kavanaugh tossed up 40 assists. White chipped in five kills and three aces and was perfect on serve receive. The Tigers were led by six kills from Breanna Fye.

The Bulldogs will be back on the road on Saturday when they take on first-year GPAC member College of Saint Mary (8-4, 1-1 GPAC) at 1 p.m. Immediately after, Concordia will play a nonconference match against Waldorf College (Iowa) (4-12) at 3 p.m. Both contests will be held inside Lied Fitness Center on the College of Saint Mary campus.