SEWARD, Neb. – The No. 17 Concordia Bulldog volleyball team will venture to No. 21 Hastings for a rematch vs the Broncos on Wednesday, Oct. 7. First serve is slated for 7:30 p.m. The first time the Bulldogs and Broncos faced off was in Walz Arena on Sept. 9 when Concordia defeated Hastings in three straight. For the homecoming match on Saturday, Oct. 10, the Bulldogs will face Nebraska Wesleyan University for a 6 p.m. start time from Walz Arena.
No. 17 Concordia University (18-4, 6-1 GPAC) at No. 21 Hastings College (15-6, 6-2 GPAC)
Wednesday, Oct. 7 | 7:30 p.m. CT
Site: Lynn Farrell Arena (2,300) | Hastings, Neb.
Webcast: Stretch Internet
Radio: 104.9 Max Country
Live Stats: Stretch Internet
Nebraska Wesleyan University (6-11, 0-5 GPAC) at No. 17 Concordia University (15-3, 4-1 GPAC)
Saturday, Oct. 10 | 6 p.m. CT
Site: Walz Arena (1,400) | Seward, Neb.
Webcast: Concordia Sports Network
Radio: 104.9 Max Country
Live Stats: Dakstats
Last time out
Last week, 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 last Tuesday night.
Even on an ‘off’ night, the 18th-ranked Concordia University volleyball team regrouped and sharpened up by hitting .350 in the fourth and final set. The Bulldogs fought off the pesky blocking of Morningside to earn a 25-17, 21-25, 25-18, 25-16 victory over the Mustangs inside Walz Arena on Friday night.
The combination of Annie Friesen and Taylor Workman had a field day against visiting Briar Cliff. The talented middles powered the 18th-ranked Concordia University volleyball team to a 25-16, 15-25, 25-19, 25-21 win over Briar Cliff inside Walz Arena on Saturday afternoon.
In the rankings
For the first time since the preseason poll in 2001, the Concordia volleyball team was ranked in the NAIA Coaches’ Poll. Announced Tuesday, Sept. 22, the Bulldogs were ranked No. 18 in the nation after defeating three top 25 ranked teams this season. On Tuesday, Oct. 6, the Bulldogs improved to No. 17. The Bulldogs improved to No. 3 in the GPAC after defeating two more GPAC opponents, Morningside College and Briar Cliff University last weekend. As a team in the GPAC, the Bulldogs lead in kills per set (13.8), total kills (1,089) and total assists (977), are tied for second in assists per set (12.4), rank third in hitting percentage (.249), service aces per set (1.8) and total services aces (142) and are tied for fifth in total digs (1,108). Nationally, the squad ranks 11th in total assists (977) and in total kills (1,089), 12th in kills per game (13.78), 15th in assists per game (12.37), 18th in hitting percentage (.249) and 27th in total service aces (142).
Kavanaugh tabbed with weekly GPAC honors
Alayna Kavanaugh was selected as this week’s GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Volleyball Setter-of-the-Week. Kavanaugh, a junior from Lincoln, Nebraska, averaged 10.8 assists per set last week in leading the Bulldogs to a perfect 3-0 week at home. She added a combined six kills and 14 digs. She ranks 11th among all NAIA players with an average of 10.78 assists per set. She facilitates an offense that ranks 11th nationally in kills per game (13.78) and 18th in hitting percentage (.249). This is the second weekly honor for the junior this season and third in her career.
Individual rankings in the GPAC
Annie Friesen: total blocks, sixth (64)
Jocelyn Garcia: service aces per set, second (0.5); total service aces, second (40); digs per set, ninth (4.1); total digs, fifth (321)
Paige Getz: total kills, sixth (227)
Alayna Kavanaugh: assists per set, third (10.8); total assists, second (841)
Tiegen Skains: hitting percentage, ninth (.258)
Claire White: service aces per set, fourth (0.4); total service aces, tied for third (29)
National individual rankings
Jocelyn Garcia: total service aces, 21st (40)
Alayna Kavanaugh: total assists, sixth (841); assists per set, 12th (10.78)
Concordia vs. the top 25
In 2014 Concordia broke through with its first win over a ranked opponent since 2007. The Bulldogs wound up with three top 25 wins in 2014, making victims of No. 14 Oklahoma Baptist, No. 18 Hastings and No. 21 Dordt. Concordia went 3-7 overall against ranked teams last season. Five of those seven losses were against squads rated inside the top 10. This season, the Bulldogs are 4-1 vs ranked opponents after defeating No. 19 Hastings at home, 3-0, No. 20 Montana Tech University, 3-2 in Hastings, No. 24 Doane, 3-0 and No. 11 Northwestern, 3-2 on the road. The lone loss to a ranked team this season was to No. 4 Midland University, 0-3.
“Overall I was really happy with the way we came out after the intermission. Sometimes we get leads and give them up in the middle of a game. We really extended leads in the third and fourth games. That was solid stuff against a good team.”
-Head Coach Scott Mattera on the win vs Briar Cliff University
Scouting the No. 21 Hastings College Broncos
The No. 21 Broncos of Hastings College are carrying a 15-6 (6-2 GPAC) record into Wednesday’s match. The two GPAC losses have come from No. 4 Midland University and Concordia University who was not ranked at the time of the contest. Nationally, the Broncos rank fourth in total blocks (213) and seventh in blocks per set (2.63). Individually, Logan Drueppel leads the nation in total blocks (129) and ranks sixth in blocks per game (1.59). As a team, Hastings owns a .191 attack percentage. In the assists column, Katie Placke leads with 731. The Broncos are led by head coach Matt Buttermore who is in his fourth season at Hastings College. Buttermore is assisted by Laura Buttermore, Kelly O’Connor, Libby Kissinger and Melissa Avila.
Scouting the Nebraska Wesleyan Prairie Wolves
The Prairie Wolves of Nebraska Wesleyan University hold a 6-11 (0-5 GPAC) record this season. Four of the five losses in GPAC competition have come from top 25 ranked teams. As a team, NWU has an attacking percentage of .144 and average 10.1 kills per set. In the serving category, the Prairie Wolves average 1.5 aces per set. Malory Dahl leads Nebraska Wesleyan in kills per set with 2.74 while Kelsey Bahe has amassed 318 assists which leads the Prairie Wolves. The Prairie Wolves are led by head coach Rayna Cain who is in her fourth season at NWU. Cain is assisted by Theresa Naumann and Angie Boldt.
Up next for the Bulldogs
The No. 17 Concordia volleyball team will travel to Midland University next Wednesday, Oct. 14 for a 7:30 p.m. start time for its only contest next week.