MARSHALL, Mo. – Filling in for Annie Friesen, freshman middle Anna Lund seized the opportunity in a big way on Saturday afternoon. The native of Rochester, Minn., powered down six kills on seven attempts and chipped in six block assists, leading the Concordia University volleyball team to a 25-11, 25-13, 25-20, over Avila University in the team’s final match at the Viking Invitational hosted by Missouri Valley College.
Sixth-year head coach Scott Mattera was pleased to see his squad carry over its strong play from Friday night’s third and fourth sets in a loss to Missouri Valley. The Bulldogs are now 2-3 after wrapping up the first full week of regular season action.
“We followed up last night battle with a great performance today against Avila who won earlier in the day,” Mattera said. “Our defense and blocking was really good and it was helped by how much we pressured them with our offense and serve game.”
Freshman setter Tara Callahan (33 assists, 12 digs) made use of Concordia’s wide variety of attacking options. Sophomore middle Emmie Noyd completed an impressive weekend by tallying nine more kills on 15 swings. Pin hitters Kelsey Baarck (nine kills, .438) and Jenna Habegger (seven kills, .462) enjoyed similar success. Defensively, Jocelyn Garcia racked up 12 digs and led a strong serve receive game for the Bulldogs.
Avila, which held off University of St. Mary in five sets in its first contest of the day, couldn’t match Concordia’s .325 hitting percentage. The Eagles, affiliated with the Heart of America Athletic Conference, hit -.021 while being stymied at the net. The Bulldogs accumulated 10 blocks thanks in large part to the play of Habegger, Lund and Noyd.
A native of Shelby, Neb., Noyd was named to the All-Viking Invitational team. Her weekend included 33 kills on 61 swings and 11 blocks. Noyd’s 16 kills against Missouri Valley were a career high.
Lund had seen action in only one set before being inserted into the starting lineup on Saturday. Mattera referred to her performance as the “highlight” of the day. The reward for Lund and company after Saturday’s win was a trip to Gates in Kansas City for a barbecue dinner.
Another significant challenge awaits on Wednesday (Aug. 30) when 20th-ranked Bellevue University visits Walz Arena for a 7 p.m. CT first serve. Concordia will play its next five matches at home.