GAME NOTES: Concordia welcomes No. 19 Hastings to begin busy week

By on Sep. 8, 2015 in Volleyball

GAME NOTES: Concordia welcomes No. 19 Hastings to begin busy week

SEWARD, Neb. – The level of competition ramps up this week as the Concordia University volleyball team opens up conference play on Wednesday with No. 19 Hastings paying a visit to Walz Arena. The Bulldogs will also play four nonconference matches this weekend at the Hastings College Classic on Friday and Saturday. Concordia will play a second top 20-ranked team this week when it challenges No. 20 Montana Tech University on Saturday.

Head coach Scott Mattera’s squad stands at 8-1 overall with its lone defeat coming at the hands of Benedictine College inside Walz Arena on Sept. 4. Meanwhile, Hastings owns a record of 7-2 with a trio of wins over top 25 foes. Said Mattera at Tuesday’s booster club luncheon, “It’s a huge match. Hastings is a legit top 20 team.”

Fans are encouraged to wear black clothing to support the “blackout” planned for Wednesday night. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook group page HERE.

No. 22 Hastings (7-2) at Concordia (8-1)
Wednesday, Sept. 9 | 7:30 p.m. CT (JV at 6 p.m.)
Site: Walz Arena (1,400)
WebcastConcordia Sports Network
Radio104.9 Max Country
Live statsDakstats

Hastings College Classic (Sept. 11-12)
Friday, Sept. 11 at Hastings College
1 p.m. vs. MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.) (6-5)
5 p.m. vs. Montana Western University (3-4)
Saturday, Sept. 12 at Hastings College
1 p.m. vs. Carroll College (Mont.) (3-6)
5 p.m. vs. Montana Tech University (11-2) 

In the rankings
Concordia dropped back one spot to No. 6 in this week’s official GPAC ratings. On the other hand, Hastings remained at No. 4 in the conference and climbed three positions to No. 19 in the NAIA national poll. In the national rankings, the Bulldogs again received votes. Hastings is one of five GPAC teams rated in the top 25 this week. The others are: No. 4 Midland, No. 12 Northwestern, No. 15 Dordt and No. 25 Doane.

Our house
Concordia enters Wednesday night’s contest with a record of 19-3 over its last 22 home matches. The Bulldogs had won 14-consecutive nonconference contests played inside Walz Arena prior to last week’s four-set defeat at the hands of Benedictine. Last season Concordia went 10-2 at home, including two victories over Hastings. The Bulldogs are off to a 4-1 start in front of their home fans in 2015. In 2014 Concordia won seven of nine home matches against GPAC opponents.

Concordia Getz back on track
Following the loss to Benedictine, junior Paige Getz dominated the next day with a combined 38 kills in wins over Bethel College (Kan.) and York College. Over last week’s trio of contests, Getz hit .436 and totaled 48 kills from the outside. She tops the Bulldogs with 111 kills on the year and is hitting .316 (35th best among all NAIA players). A 300+ kill performer in each of her first two collegiate seasons, Getz now has 721 kills for her career. That total ranks second only to Claire White (783 kills as a Bulldog; 798 in college career) among teammates.

20+ kill club
Getz became the sixth different Bulldog to record 20 or more kills in a single match since Mattera took over the program in 2012. The others are Amanda Abbott, Amanda Kisker, Mariah Schamp, Tiegen Skains and Claire White. Those six have combined for 14 matches of 20-plus kills since 2012. Schamp’s 24 kills are the most for a Bulldog under Mattera. White has been the most frequent 20-kill producer with six of them since coming to Concordia.

20+ kills since start of 2012
Claire White (six times) – career high 21
Amanda Kisker (four times) – career high 23
Mariah Schamp (once) – career high 24
Amanda Abbott (once) – career high 20
Paige Getz (once) – career high 20
Tiegen Skains (once) – career high 20

Career bests for young Bulldogs
Not only did Getz post a career high in the win over York, sophomores Jocelyn Garcia and Annie Friesen also recorded career bests in the same match. A rangy 5-foot-5 defensive specialist, Garcia dug up a personal best 23 attacks while Friesen powered down a career high 16 kills. Friesen has not hit lower than .316 in a single match. If she were to qualify for the national leaderboard (must average five attacks per set), Friesen would top the nation with a .479 hitting percentage. Meanwhile, Garcia ranks 14th among GPAC players in digs per set (3.4).

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.

Scouting Hastings
The Broncos enter play with a mark of 7-2. They own victories over three ranked opponents: No. 13 Davenport University (Mich.), No. 21 Grand View University (Iowa) and No. 23 Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho). In addition, their only two losses have come against top 25 foes: No. 5 Rocky Mountain College (Mont.) and No. 16 Southern Oregon University. Junior Logan Drueppel leads the GPAC in blocks per game (1.5) for a Hastings squad that averages more blocks per set than any other conference team. Freshman Sage Meyer tops Hastings with 109 kills (3.03/game). Head coach Matt Buttermore is in his fourth season at Hastings where he owns a record of 58-21.

Recent meetings with Hastings
After Concordia upset then No. 9-ranked Hastings on Aug. 29, 2007, the Broncos went on to win the next 13 meetings in a row with the Bulldogs. That streak was put to an end last season when the Bulldogs topped then No. 18 Hastings in five sets on Sept. 24. After falling in straight sets at Hastings the next month, the Bulldogs got the upper hand in the final matchup in the GPAC quarterfinals. Concordia won in straight sets inside Walz Arena.

Weekend opponents
MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.) (6-5)
-Member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference
-2014 record: 20-14
-Currently receiving votes in the NAIA national poll 

Montana Western University (3-4)
-Member of the Frontier Conference
-2014 record: 11-16 

Carroll College (Mont.) (3-6)
-Member of the Frontier Conference
-2014 record: 17-13

Montana Tech University (11-2)
-Member of the Frontier Conference
-2014 record: 12-16
-Currently ranked No. 20 in the NAIA national poll