Dawgs show off depth in nonconference rout

By on Sep. 29, 2015 in Volleyball

Dawgs show off depth in nonconference rout

SEWARD, Neb. – The 18th-ranked Concordia University volleyball team showed no signs of a letdown three days following a momentous five-set win at No. 11 Northwestern. The Bulldogs hit .545 in the opening set and cruised to a 25-8, 25-11, 25-8 win over visiting Central Christian College (Kan.) inside Walz Arena on Tuesday night.

Fourth-year head coach Scott Mattera’s squad concluded the nonconference portion with its demolition of the NAIA Independent foe and now sits at 16-4 overall. Concordia has won 21 of its last 25 home matches.

In the latest victory, seven different Bulldogs registered at least one kill as they outhit the Tigers, .394 to -.122, in a match that last just 58 minutes.

“No complaints about that,” Mattera said. “We spread it out pretty well and everyone had some good decision making shot-wise. I also really liked the way Libby (Zagel) ran the show in the third game. It gave Alayna (Kavanaugh) a little break there and Libby does such a good job for us every day in practice.”

Concordia finished off an utterly dominant evening by rattling off the first eight points of the third set as Zagel replaced Kavanaugh as setter. On her birthday, junior right side Tiegen Skains pulverized one of the match’s most thunderous attacks, leaving the Tiger half of the court helpless as part of the third set onslaught.

Central Christian never disrupted the Bulldog rhythm nor could the Tigers handle a powerful opposing serve game (nine Concordia aces). Central Christian had nine more errors (24) than kills (15) and did not post a positive hitting percentage in any of the three sets.

The focused performance by Zagel and company immediately followed an emotional road within the conference.

“Right before the game we were just saying consistently that we needed to handle our business and treat every match like its Northwestern,” Zagel said. “That’s just what we did. We came in with a good mindset and delivered.”

Bulldog senior Claire White topped all players with nine kills and three aces. She ran her career kill count to 905 (890 as a Bulldog; 15 for Washburn University). Six players in Concordia volleyball history have reached the 1,000-kill plateau.

The Bulldogs also got eight kills from Paige Getz (818 career kills), six from Skains, five from Annie Friesen, four from Jenna Habegger, three from Taylor Workman and one from Kavanaugh (21 assists in two sets). Sophomore Jocelyn Garcia chipped in 11 digs while Kendra Dinkel dug up seven attacks. Workman led the team’s defense at the net with three block assists.

Central Christian (12-6), which also lost earlier this season to GPAC member Dakota Wesleyan, was paced by four kills apiece from Kasi Kraus and Mayuko Shono.

Mattera’s squad went 10-4 for the month of September with four victories coming over top 25 opponents. A week ago the program achieved its first national ranking since 2001.

The Bulldogs continue a week heavy on home contests when they welcome Morningside (4-11, 0-5 GPAC) to Walz Arena on Friday for a 7:30 p.m. first serve. The next day Briar Cliff (9-5, 2-3 GPAC) pays a visit to Seward for a 3 p.m. match.