HASTINGS, Neb. – The Concordia University volleyball team played two matches Saturday, Sept.12 at the Five Points Bank Invitational at Hastings College. In the first match, the Bulldogs dropped three very close sets, 23-25, 29-31 and 22-25 to Carroll College (Mont.) who is now 5-7 on the year. The Bulldogs conquered their second five set match of the day when they faced No. 20 Montana Tech, three sets to two, 25-21, 17-25, 25-21, 24-26 and 15-12. Montana Tech falls to 12-5 on the year. Annie Friesen broke her career record in kills in a single match of 16 in the victory over the Diggers. The sophomore killed 17 of her 27 attempts with just two errors.
Head coach Scott Mattera said on the day, “Overall, I’m really happy with how we played. It was basically a mere image of yesterday. We played some of our best volleyball but it just wasn’t enough to beat those two teams. We found the energy to win a close and important game against a ranked team. There were lots of long rallies in that game. There was a lot of heart on both sides of the net to win. This was a big team building win for us.”
In the match versus Carroll, team statistics were even across the board. Concordia led in kills (42-41), attacks (126-117) and in assists (37-36) while Carroll edged the Bulldogs in blocks (4-3) and hitting percentage (.197-.143). In digs, the squads were even at 46 apiece.
The balanced quality of the match carried into individual statistics for the Bulldogs. Kills for the ‘Dogs were spread out in a horizontal way as well. Tiegen Skains (11), Friesen (10), Claire White (8) and Paige Getz (7) topped the Bulldogs in kills for the match. Alayna Kavanaugh recorded two kills herself and dished out 33 assists. Defensively, Jocelyn Garcia dug the ball up 13 times while Kendra Dinkel put up 11 digs for Concordia.
A very back and forth match between Concordia and No. 20 Montana Tech played out in the Bulldogs’ favor. CUNE won every other set in the victory. Highlighted by Friesen’s career high 17 kills, the Bulldogs hit .192 as a team. Garcia also set a career high in digs with 27. The sophomore’s previous mark was 23 digs in a match vs. York earlier this season. Skains was able to tie her season high of 12 kills while Taylor Workman set her season high at 14 kills. Kavanaugh set up a season high 57 assists.
On Friesen’s career day Mattera noted, “Annie did amazing. Before the game we were talking and I said if she could stay off the net she would have a ton more opportunities and that’s just what she did. Taylor did awesome with that also. Teams choose what to take away from us and they really tried to shut down our outsides, so we attacked more on the right side. It’s really good to see the team work together like that. Alayna did a really good job of setting the ball up to them and allowing them to do so well today.”
As a team the Bulldogs totaled 70 kills on 193 attacks, both well over the Diggers’ totals of 44 kills and 150 attacks. The Diggers had the advantage on the Bulldogs in blocks 13-8, one of the only categories that the team led in.
Mattera said on the upcoming match against Doane, “Doane is a top 25 team and they’ve earned it. It’s going to make the rivalry that already exists that much better. We’re looking forward to working on some things in the gym to prepare for them.”
Concordia is now 11-3 on the season as they resume GPAC play this upcoming week. The Lady ‘Dogs will be back in action to play at Doane College. The match is slated for Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Crete, Neb.