Errors plague No. 16 Concordia in upset loss

By on Oct. 28, 2015 in Volleyball

Errors plague No. 16 Concordia in upset loss

SEWARD, Neb. – The Bulldogs’ quest for their first GPAC title since 2000 took a blow on Wednesday night. Visiting Doane ensured its second meeting with the 16th-ranked Concordia University volleyball team would be different. The Tigers sizzled in the opening set and played a significantly cleaner match than its opposition on the way to a 25-19, 25-22, 18-25, 25-14, win inside Walz Arena.

In the process, Doane (19-10, 9-5 GPAC) snapped the five-match win streak of fourth-year head coach Scott Mattera’s squad, which had entered the night red hot. The Bulldogs (23-6, 11-3 GPAC) fell for just the fifth time over their past 30 home matches.

“We’ve got to be tougher. That’s all there is to it,” Mattera said. “We’ve got to be mentally tougher. We did not respond to our mistakes well. We compounded things.”

On this night, Concordia simply could not get out of its own way. At one point in the second set, the Bulldogs had committed 13 attack errors to only one by the Tigers. Just when it looked like Concordia may mount a rally, it followed a successful third set with 14 total errors in the fourth and final set. Doane’s Megan Fletcher ultimately completed the upset by burying a kill for match point.

The Tigers set an ominous tone for the night when they went on a 5-0 first-set run and led 19-13. Led by four kills each from Fletcher and Kaitlin Bradley, Doane hit a blistering .462 in the opening set that saw it post just a single attack error. The Tigers also proved better at the net, recording a 12-3 advantage in team blocks. Fittingly, the opening set ended with a Jessy Hunt block.

Paige Getz (match high 14 kills) and the Bulldogs had by far their best performance on the attack in set No. 3 when they hit .243 and floored 16 kills. Tiegen Skains and Taylor Workman combined for six kills on 11 swings in the third to give Concordia’s comeback hopes life. Jocelyn Garcia cleaned up seven of her match high 20 digs during the third set as The Tigers hit .036.

But fortunes reversed back in Doane’s favor in the fourth. Nothing much went right following an Annie Friesen kill that tied it, 6-6. The Tigers then went on a 14-4 splurge with half of those points courtesy of Bulldog attack errors. At that point Concordia had dug a hole too deep.

Workman (11 kills) joined Getz with double figure kills. Meanwhile, Claire White notched nine kills to run her career total to 996. As a team, the Bulldogs actually outnumbered Doane in kills, 50-42.

At night’s end, Concordia sits in a three-way tie for second place behind No. 8 Dordt (12-2) and No. 12 Northwestern (12-2) atop the GPAC standings. Each of the top-five teams has two regular-season matches remaining.

The Bulldogs will host their home regular-season finale on Saturday when Dordt (21-4 overall) pays a visit to Walz Arena. Concordia will honor a group of seven seniors in a pregame ceremony. In the most recent meeting, Skains pounded 20 kills and the Bulldogs knocked off the then 21st-ranked Defenders in five sets in Seward on Oct. 25, 2014.