Middles boost Bulldogs to first win at Morningside since 2003

By on Sep. 27, 2014 in Volleyball

Middles boost Bulldogs to first win at Morningside since 2003

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – It’s been a season of breaking streaks – in a good way – for the Concordia University volleyball team. In a one-week span, the Bulldogs picked up wins over both Doane and Hastings for the first time since 2007 and on Saturday the program earned a win at Morningside for the first time since October 2003. Concordia won the latest meeting in Sioux City, Iowa, 25-23, 25-22, 25-13.

Winners of six of their last seven matches, the Bulldogs are now 12-5 overall and sit in a three-way tie for third in the GPAC standings at 4-2.

The only negative to come from Saturday’s match was an apparent knee injury to sophomore middle Taylor Workman, who was forced to leave the court during the second set. Workman went off in the first set with eight kills and still led the team with 10 kills overall despite sitting out the entire third set.

“Taylor was having the match of her life,” Mattera said. “We’re concerned about it but I’m proud of the way that the girls refocused. In the break between games 2 and 3, Taylor just told the team the best thing they could do for her was to play well. We took it to them in the third game.”

Entering the night with the 20th-best hitting percentage among all NAIA teams, Concordia put together a rock solid .260 hitting percentage at Morningside. Workman needed only 14 swings to dial up her match-high 10 kills. Paige Getz also had a solid afternoon on the outside with nine kills and Claire White posted eight coming off a big performance a day earlier at No. 6 Northwestern.

Mattera said that the team placed a significant emphasis on feeding its talented middles on Saturday. Workman and Mariah Schamp floored a combined 16 kills (on 34 attacks) and four blocks. Once again, Concordia’s dearth of hitters was fed by sophomore setter Alayna Kavanaugh (32 assists).

“Alayna was great again,” Mattera said. “We mixed it up well like usual. When you see that kind of spread in the kill numbers – that’s when we’re at our best. A lot of credit goes to our serve receive and Alayna.”

Morningside came into the match at 13-6 overall and 6-2 at home. The win for the Bulldogs was yet another example of how far the program has come in a short time. In the process, Concordia evened up its conference away mark at 2-2.

Considering the Bulldogs got the signature win they sought on Wednesday by topping No. 18 Hastings, it was a pretty big week for a program that seems to have announced its arrival.

“I’m really happy,” Mattera said. “It’s was a big prove-yourself kind of week. The win over Hastings was big. Looking at the film of yesterday’s match, we actually did play really well at Northwestern. We know what we need to do to get on that level.

“Morningside is another nice win. We’re pretty with how the week went.”

The Mustangs finished with a .173 hitting percentage. They got great production from Kecia Verburg, who totaled a team best nine kills on 13 attacks.

The Bulldogs hit the road again on Tuesday when they play Nebraska Wesleyan (10-3, 2-3 GPAC) in Lincoln at 7:30 p.m. The Prairie Wolves are 1-1 this season on their home court.