Confident 'Dogs topple Bellevue for first time since 1995

By on Aug. 25, 2015 in Volleyball

Confident ‘Dogs topple Bellevue for first time since 1995

SEWARD, Neb. – Even after being blitzed in the first set, a confident Concordia University volleyball team continued its run of dominance at home while bucking a negative trend. On Tuesday night the Bulldogs knocked off in-state Bellevue University for the first time since 1995 by way of a 17-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-17 victory.

Paige Getz led the team in both kills (12) and blocks (seven) in helping keep Concordia together after the rough first set. Fourth-year head coach Scott Mattera’s squad recovered in plenty of time to improve to 2-0 this season and 17-2 over its past 19 home matches.

“Bellevue forced us to show who we are,” Mattera said. “They came out absolutely on fire in that first game, digging everything, and you could see us get a little bit frustrated. We tried to play perfectly. We just had to calm down and do what we do over and over again against a team that plays that hard and that well defensively. Really proud of our kids for learning that lesson.”

Getz and company improved their hitting percentages each set, going from .061 to .136 to .205 and then a sparkling .370 to close it out. Getz struck for five of her kills in the final set and senior outside hitter Claire White added another four.

After the match, Mattera praised White for things that won’t show up in the box score.

“Claire White is pretty darn good when she’s having fun,” Mattera said. “Not only the way she carried us through that third game, but her leadership tonight was absolutely fabulous. That was special to watch.”

White kept coming even after having nine attacks without a kill in the opening set when the Bruin back row was all over the place. Led by Rachel Wald and her four digs in the first set, Bellevue dug up 20 Bulldog attacks and outhit Concordia .313 – .061.

But the Bulldogs never panicked.

“We knew they came out hot and we also knew they weren’t going to stay that way the whole entire match,” Getz said. “We stayed together and really worked on playing as a team and doing what we needed to do.”

Concordia again got solid production from its middles with Taylor Workman (10 kills) and Annie Friesen (eight kills) combining for 18 kills. Junior Alayna Kavanaugh dished out 35 assists for the second-straight match while chipping in 10 digs. White (13) and Jocelyn Garcia (11) also reached double figures in digs.

The Bruins (1-4), who had won 10-straight meetings with the Bulldogs dating back to Sept. 13, 1995, were paced by the 11 kills from Wald.

In getting past a perennially nationally-relevant Bellevue squad, experience and maturity proved a key factor, especially after Concordia fell behind early.

“We looked like a very mature team other than some of the missed serves,” Mattera said. “We looked like a team that nothing was going to rattle us because stuff was happening that absolutely could have distracted us, could have rattled us.”

Known for a powerful offense, Concordia put down 50 kills compared to 37 for Bellevue. The Bulldogs also wound up with a .182 - .077 advantage in hitting percentage.

The Bulldogs will leave Seward Wednesday evening when it begins its journey for a weekend trip to the Windy City. Concordia will play two matches on Friday and two on Saturday in Chicago.