Morningside College opened GPAC Tournament play with a 3-1 win over Concordia University on Tuesday night in Sioux City. The host Mustangs advanced to the conference semi-finals with the win, while Concordia’s season came to an end at 11-21. Scores of the match were 25-23, 25-19, 20-25 and 25-19.
The Mustangs jumped out to a 17-7 lead in the opening set, but Concordia didn’t go quietly. The Bulldogs came all the way back to tie the set at 22-22. The teams traded points to make the score 23-23. Maggie Vondrak had a kill to give the Mustangs the advantage, and a Bulldog attacking error gave Morningside the first set victory.
The second set again remained close in the early stages. The Bulldogs led by two at 13-11 and 14-12, but Morningside scored the next three points to take a 15-14 advantage. With the set tied at 16-16, Morningside rattled off four straight points to force a Concordia timeout. The Mustangs pulled away from there and secured the 25-19 win.
Concordia came back with a solid third set. The Bulldogs led from start to finish. Concordia led by as many as six at 14-8. Morningside cut into the lead and trailed by just two at 16-14. However, the Bulldogs rebuilt the lead to five at 22-17, and a kill by Ashlea Vaudt (Kalispell, Mont.) gave the Bulldogs the 25-20 set three win.
Morningside seized early control in the fourth set. The set was tied 4-4, but the Mustangs used a 12-2 run to take a 16-6 lead. The Bulldogs rallied to cut the lead to five on multiple occasions, but Morningside closed out the match with the 25-19 win.
The trio of Briana Schaeuble, Maggie Vondrak and Anastasia Ott led the way for the Mustangs in the victory. Schaeuble pounded 15 kills and totaled eight blocks on the night. Vondrak had 11 kills, and Ott added 10 in the Mustang victory. Monica Iverson had 45 set assists, and Darcy Christensen finished with a match-high 21 digs.
Concordia was led by Amanda Kisker’s match-high 16 kills. Kisker added nine digs on the night. Mariah Schamp (Arvada, Colo.) had eight kills, while both Amanda Abbott (Temecula, Calif.) and Marlee Denton (Fremont, Neb.) added seven kills on the night. Alexa Hopping (Sutherland, Neb.) handed out 25 set assists, and Carli Smith (Temecula, Calif.) led the way defensively with 20 digs.