SEWARD, Neb. – Saturday’s tri-match hosted by Concordia provided head coach Scott Mattera’s Bulldogs an opportunity to take on a pair of unfamiliar foes. Concordia returned to its winning ways with a four-set victory over Presentation College (S.D.) and then a straight-sets triumph over the University of Dallas.
“I’m very happy with this win,” Mattera said of the Dallas match at the conclusion of the day. “That would have been a very easy team to get frustrated against because they picked up their defense in game two.”
The Bulldogs dropped the first set of the day’s opening match before awakening with a dominant effort over the final three games to knock off Presentation. Concordia really got rolling midway through the third set and then carried it over into a blowout fourth set on the way to a 22-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-8 victory.
After falling behind 12-7 in set No. 3, the Bulldogs eventually evened up at 14-14 and took control from there. Presentation called a timeout after Mariah Schamp’s kill gave Concordia its 14th point in the set, but the Bulldogs would not be slowed down.
Concordia freshman Paige Getz went for a kill to make it 20-16 and then a block to push the score to 23-17 in the third set. She finished with nine kills.
Sophomore Claire White powered home 13 kills in a bounce back effort for her. This year’s first GPAC Player of the Week hit .324 with just two errors.
Schamp had another monster effort with 10 kills on 20 attempts while also adding four total blocks. Freshman Alayna Kavanuagh piled up 44 assists, giving her 40 or more assists in four of seven matches at the time. She then amassed 30 assists in the second match of the day.
“Today I was really focused on playing big and not being intimidated by anything,” Kavanaugh said. “I just went out there and played for Him. I wasn’t really focusing on that the previous game, so that was my focus today.”
The Bulldogs also defeated the University of Dallas, 25-22, 25-15, 25-22, carrying over their impressive play towards the latter stages of the win over Presentation. The Concordia defense held the Crusaders’ attack to an .058 hitting percentage.
Schamp and White tied for the team lead with nine kills. White also topped the Bulldogs with 14 digs, while Carli Smith added 11 and Katie Peterson posted 10.
“It all starts with Carli,” Mattera said. “With her staying disciplined and staying deep the way she did. Nothing was dropping in those deep corners. They got us maybe once on a dump there, but she was staying deep and making her reads.”
The Bulldogs return to GPAC play on Tuesday when they host last year’s GPAC Tournament champion, Doane, at 7:30 p.m. A junior varsity match will be held at 6 p.m.