OMAHA, Neb. – Fresh off its third win of the season over a top 25 opponent, the Concordia University volleyball team sizzled on Saturday afternoon, winning a pair of matches on the College of Saint Mary campus in Omaha. The Bulldogs began the day with a 25-13, 21-25, 25-21, 25-19 win over the host Flames and capped it by throttling Waldorf College (Iowa), 25-16, 25-8, 25-9.
Fourth-year head coach Scott Mattera’s squad bumped its winning streak to three and improved to 14-3 overall, including a perfect 3-0 conference mark.
The day’s opening match marked the first time Concordia and College of Saint Mary have gone head-to-head as conference opponents.
“The match against CSM was really up and down,” Mattera said. “We had some serve receive and connection inconsistency and they dug a lot of balls against us. We almost won too easily in the first and we let up a bit. You can't do that against a high momentum team like CSM.”
Junior setter Alayna Kavanaugh dished out 50 assists, helping four different Bulldogs reach double figures in kills in the victory over the Flames. Sophomore Annie Friesen powered 14 kills from the middle. She was followed in that department by Tiegen Skains (11), Paige Getz (11) and Claire White (10).
Concordia used a .258 to .100 hitting percentage advantage to earn its third-straight GPAC win. Jocelyn Garcia dug up 18 attacks. White (15 digs) and Kelsey Dinkel (10 digs) were also instrumental in the Bulldog defensive effort that allowed Mattera’s squad to avenge its 2014 road loss to College of Saint Mary.
The Flames (8-5, 1-2 GPAC), who own a conference win over Nebraska Wesleyan, got a solid match from Elaine Kramer (12 kills on 27 swings).
In a contest that followed immediately after inside the Lied Fitness Center, Concordia wiped out the Warriors, a member of the North Star Athletic Association, by hitting .527. Skains completed a productive day by burning Waldorf for eight kills on nine attempts.
“The second match against Waldorf was much cleaner,” Mattera said. “They are a better team than we allowed them to look today. Our constant pressure really took its toll.”
Again, Kavanaugh (35 assists) made use of her wealth of options. Skains was one of many with eye-popping attack percentages. White went for eight kills on 10 swings. Taylor Workman pounded nine kills on 15 attempts. Friesen had six on 10 attacks. Defensively, White had 16 digs to top all players.
In service, three different Bulldogs dropped in four aces on the day: Katie Peterson, White and Libby Zagel.
Concordia is 3-0 to begin GPAC play for the first time since 2005. The ’05 Bulldogs began the season with 18-consecutive wins overall.
Concordia now looks ahead to a challenging week that includes matches against No. 4 Midland (15-0, 2-0 GPAC) and No. 11 Northwestern (14-2, 3-0 GPAC). The Bulldogs host the Warriors at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Mattera’s squad has won each of its first three matches versus ranked foes.