Getz surpasses 1,000 career kills in tough-luck weekend

By Jacob Knabel on Aug. 27, 2016 in Volleyball

BUTTE, Mont. – The 20th-ranked Concordia University volleyball team is coming home empty-handed after a weekend of close calls at the Big Sky Challenge hosted by Montana Tech. The Bulldogs fell in all 12 sets – eight times by the minimum two points – during action in Butte, Mont, over the two-day event. On Saturday, Concordia dropped matches to both No. 8 Eastern Oregon University, 25-19, 25-14, 25-22, and 15th-ranked Rocky Mountain College, 25-23, 25-23, 25-23.

The biggest highlight on Saturday came in the first set versus Rocky Mountain when senior Paige Getz blistered her third kill of the match and the 1,000th of her collegiate career. Both of her parents were in attendance at the Civic Center to see it.

“It’s pretty cool. I never really thought that I would get there,” Getz said. “Everything happened because of my team. They get the props.”

Getz became the third player under fifth-year head coach Scott Mattera to reach quadruple digits in kills. She joined Amanda Kisker (’13) and Claire White (’16) as members of the exclusive club. Getz topped Concordia on Saturday with 22 kills, one more than fellow senior Tiegen Skains.

Getz believes her squad will learn from the challenging weekend as it prepares for another ranked opponent next week.

“I think we learned a lot about the little things,” Getz said. “We definitely play well together. We have amazing talent. It’s just little things that we need to fix.”

Known for its power and flair offensively, the Bulldogs posted hitting percentages of .163 and .148, respectively, on Saturday. Inefficiencies here and there have played a part in Concordia’s 1-5 start versus a bear of a schedule. The Bulldogs are looking forward to getting more practice time to iron those things out and get back to the level of play that helped them reach the national tournament a year ago.

“We need to get back in the gym and practice. We have a lot of stuff on video now,” Mattera said. “I told the girls, when we watch this stuff on video we’re going to wonder how we lost all these games, because there’s a lot of really, really good stuff in there.

“When you look at it, preseason is about getting better. Going out and scheduling really tough teams is only going to make us better for the GPAC run. Nobody out here saw us and thought, ‘Wow, that’s a terrible team.’”

Concordia was just the latest team to be flattened by the Eastern Oregon steamroller. The Mountaineers (6-1) won their fifth-consecutive straight-sets match by taking care of the Bulldogs in just over an hour. Eastern Oregon showcased an impressive group of hitters led by Makayla Lindburg, who totaled 10 kills on 21 attempts. The Mountaineers hit .343 for the match while quarterbacked by setter Rachelle Chamberlain, a third team All-American in 2015.

It was a monster day in the back row for junior Jocelyn Garcia, who tracked down 39 digs, including 24 in the battle with Rocky Mountain. Freshman Alex La Plant added nine kills in both matches and Alayna Kavanaugh dished out 39 assists in the trip’s finale. Meanwhile, freshman Emmie Noyd registered nine total blocks.

The schedule won’t lighten up next week for the Bulldogs, who open up GPAC play on Wednesday with a trip to No. 6 Midland (7-0). The varsity (7:30 p.m.) will follow the junior varsity (6 p.m.) from Fremont. The varsity match will be carried live by 104.9 Max Country.