SEWARD, Neb. – Preseason training will give way to the official first serve of the 2019 campaign this week for the Concordia University volleyball program. The Bulldogs got a tune up in the form of a scrimmage this past weekend before the lights come on for real Wednesday night when York College comes to town. Concordia will also play three times this weekend at the Red Raider Classic hosted by Northwestern in Orange City, Iowa.
*All four matches this week will be carried live on 104.9 Max Country
Wednesday, Aug. 21 vs. York College, 7 p.m.
Red Raider Classic
Friday, Aug. 23 vs. Baker University, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 24 vs. Wayland Baptist University, 9 a.m.
Saturday, Aug. 24 vs. No. 19 Corban University, 3 p.m.
Now it’s time to find out how far head coach Ben Boldt’s squad has come since the 2018 season that saw the Bulldogs finish 15-12 overall. Concordia welcomes back many of its key players from a year ago, including senior middle blocker Emmie Noyd, a two-time second team all-conference selection. Concordia would be happy to clean up outside of league play in the manner it did last season. The Bulldogs rattled off 12-straight victories to begin the year. That run began with a comfortable straight-sets triumph over York, this season’s opening opponent. The Bulldogs have won 15 matches in a row against non-GPAC foes.
Concordia graduated its kills leader from 2018, Jenna Habegger, who collected 277 kills. However, the Bulldogs return their leading blocker in Noyd (1.1/set), also the team leader in hitting percentage, leading setter in Tara Callahan (6.6 assists/set) and leading defensive specialist in Marissa Hoerman (3.8 digs/set). Within the rugged GPAC that sent six teams to the national tournament in 2018, Concordia ranked fifth in blocks per set (2.1), eighth in kills per set (12.4) and ninth in hitting percentage (.201) while its opponents hit .189.
York endured a 9-26 season in 2018 while also getting accustomed to a new head coach. The Panthers (Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference) hit .115 as a team last season and went 1-5 versus GPAC opponents (defeated Mount Marty). At least on paper, the most challenging match of the week will be the very last one when the Bulldogs will go head-to-head with 19th-ranked Corban University, a national qualifier in 2018. Corban (23-13 in 2018) is a member of the Cascade Collegiate Conference while Baker University (15-18 in 2018) resides in the Heart of America Athletic Conference and Wayland Baptist University (11-18 in 2018) calls the Sooner Athletic Conference its home.
Following this week’s action, Concordia will get set to host the Bulldog Bash Aug. 30-31. The event will feature six teams in addition to the Bulldogs. The full schedule can be viewed HERE.