SEWARD, Neb. – The final varsity match of the GPAC regular season for Concordia University Volleyball is back on the schedule. The Bulldogs will gear up to play at Hastings on Saturday, Nov. 21 with the first serve at 6 p.m. CT. Originally, the contest was slated for Nov. 3. Please note that there will not be a junior varsity match on Nov. 21.
Head Coach Ben Boldt’s squad will be finished with its fall slate once the action concludes at Hastings. No matter the result, Concordia (12-3 GPAC) is locked into the No. 3 seed in the GPAC tournament, which will be held in the 2021 spring semester (dates have not yet been announced). As a top four seed, the Bulldogs are guaranteed to host in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. Concordia also earned the league’s No. 3 seed last season.
The Bulldogs have been idle since defeating Doane in straight sets on Oct. 29. Concordia owns an active five-match win streak that incudes victories over College of Saint Mary (twice), Briar Cliff, Morningside and Doane. Based upon the GPAC standings, the most significant win achieved by the Bulldogs this fall was the straight-sets triumph at Dordt on Oct. 2. The Defenders (11-5 GPAC) will be the No. 4 seed in the conference tournament. Jamestown (13-1 GPAC) and Northwestern (13-2 GPAC) continue to battle for the top seed.
Concordia is likely to officially be an NAIA top 25 team again next week. The NAIA is scheduled to release the first conference (Nov. 16) and national (Nov. 18) polls of the regular season in the coming days. The Bulldogs finished the 2019 campaign at No. 14 in the NAIA Coaches’ Poll for the highest final ranking in program history.
This 2020 Concordia team has relied upon impressive balance while again ranking as one of the best in the GPAC. Senior setter Tara Callahan ranks No. 5 nationally in assists per set (11.04). Five Bulldogs have collected more than 115 kills: Gabi Nordaker (135), Kara Stark (133), Arleigh Costello (126), Camryn Opfer (122) and Kalee Wiltfong (116). Other statistical leaders include Marissa Hoerman (4.34 digs/set), Tristin Mason (27 assists) and Nordaker (1.22 blocks/set).
Dates for the national tournament are set. The NAIA Volleyball National Championship will begin with the opening round on April 17, 2021. Teams that advance to the final site in Sioux City, Iowa, will continue action April 27 – May 1.