Garcia keys defensive snuffing of DWU

By on Oct. 23, 2015 in Volleyball

Garcia keys defensive snuffing of DWU

MITCHELL, S.D. – Sophomore defensive specialist Jocelyn Garcia frustrated the Dakota Wesleyan attack all night and the 15th-ranked Concordia University volleyball team dispatched of the host Tigers, 25-14, 25-22, 25-17, on Friday night. The Bulldogs outhit Dakota Wesleyan handily, .202 to .038.

Fourth-year head coach Scott Mattera’s squad has now won eight of its last night matches, including four in a row. The Bulldogs are now 22-5 overall and 10-2 in conference action. The 22 victories are the most for the program since the 2005 squad went 24-11.

“We watched a lot of video on them and they’re a much improved team,” Mattera said in a postgame interview with Max Country radio. “You come up to their place on a Friday night – senior night – and their digging balls and flying around the court. We knew this was going to be a tough match. We’re really happy with what we did tonight.”

Dakota Wesleyan (11-15, 2-10 GPAC) played competitively in the second set and held a 12-9 advantage in the third set before Concordia went on a 13-4 run to take control and squelch any designs on an upset. With Garcia running around in the back row (match high 21 digs), the Bulldogs shut down the Tiger attack. Dakota Wesleyan posted negative hitting percentages in both the first and third sets.

On the other side of the net, senior Claire White continued a big week for the Bulldogs. Fresh off a 16-kill performance in Wednesday’s win over College of Saint Mary, the native of Exeter, Neb., put down a match best 10 kills. She got the Bulldogs humming out of the gates with five kills during a dominant opening set.

The Tigers also struggled to contain Concordia’s potent combination in the middle. Sophomore Annie Freisen (nine kills, four blocks) and Taylor Workman (seven kills, two blocks) combined for 16 kills on only 27 swings. Once again, setter Alayna Kavanaugh made solid reads in dishing out 33 assists.

“Claire really came through with some shots and swings at big times and Jocelyn read really well defensively,” Mattera said. “Seven digs per game is a huge number. She really mixed disciplined system ball with freedom to read really well. Our middles were great again in system with both hitting for a great percentage.”

Concordia finished with advantages of 39-23 in kills, 58-50 in digs and 5-2 in aces. The Tigers, now 7-6 at home, were led by eight kills from Lauren Tadlock.

White, who has played in 317 sets over three seasons as a Bulldog, has 976 total kills in her collegiate career. She is closing in on becoming the seventh player in program history to reach the 1,000-kill mark.

The Bulldogs remain in South Dakota on Saturday to take on Mount Marty (7-17, 2-10 GPAC). First serve from Yankton, S.D., is set for 1:30 p.m. Concordia has won each of the last eight meetings with the Lancers.