SEWARD, Neb. – The combination of Annie Friesen and Taylor Workman had a field day against visiting Briar Cliff. The talented middles powered the 18th-ranked Concordia University volleyball team to a 25-16, 15-25, 25-19, 25-21 win over Briar Cliff inside Walz Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The victory completed a perfect 3-0 week at home for fourth-year head coach Scott Mattera’s squad, which is now 23-4 over its last 27 home matches. The Bulldogs outhit the visiting Chargers, .252 to .177, in the process of moving to 18-4 overall and 6-1 in conference play.
“Overall I was really happy with the way we came out after the intermission,” Mattera said. “Sometimes we get leads and give them up in the middle of a game. We really extended leads in the third and fourth games. That was solid stuff against a good team.”
Friesen and Workman got their team off to a good start in the opening set that saw the Bulldogs hit a sweltering .469. Friesen and Workman both went a perfect 5-for-5 on the attack as part of the onslaught. Workman ended up leading the team with 13 kills on 19 swings. Friesen had 12 on 17 attacks.
Friesen, who hails from Wichita, Kan., felt in such a groove that she got partway through the Macarena while entertaining the huddle between the first and second sets.
“I love it. These girls are the best,” Friesen said. “I just get to be myself around them.”
The Chargers provided resistance by hitting .458 during a second set in which six of their players had at least one kill. Concordia had difficulty all afternoon dealing with Breanna Nogelmeier, who had a match high 17 kills on 29 swings. She also posted four total blocks.
Just as they did a night earlier, the Bulldogs regrouped during the intermission. They held Briar Cliff to fewer kills (seven) than attack errors (eight) during the third set. Workman had another big performance, going 4-for-5 on the attack as Concordia took the third game, 25-19.
Defensively, sophomore Jocelyn Garcia led the Bulldogs with 16 digs. Claire White notched 12 kills and 14 digs. Junior Alayna Kavanaugh dished out 44 assists. Eight different Bulldogs had at least one kill and nine had at least one dig.
Concordia has now won six of its first seven GPAC matches for the first time since the 2000 GPAC championship team accomplished the feat. The 2000 Bulldogs went 9-1 in conference play and tied for the regular-season title.
The Bulldogs will try to hunt down their fifth win this season over a ranked opponent when they travel to play No. 22 Hastings (15-6, 6-2 GPAC) on Wednesday. First serve is set for 7:30 p.m. Concordia has won three of the last four meetings with the Broncos. This season’s first matchup between the two sides ended in straight sets in the Bulldogs’ favor.