SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University volleyball team has made a long awaited return to the national rankings. On Tuesday the Bulldogs checked in at No. 18 in the Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. Previously, the program’s most recent national ranking came via the 2001 preseason poll that placed Concordia 20th.
Fourth-year head coach Scott Mattera’s squad had been listed among “others receiving votes” in each of this season’s first three polls released by the NAIA. A year ago the Bulldogs were the first team out of the top 25 in the poll released on Sept. 30.
The national ranking adds sizzle to Wednesday’s 7:30 p.m. matchup in which Concordia welcomes undefeated and fourth-ranked Midland (15-0, 2-0 GPAC) to Walz Arena. The last time Concordia played host for a battle between ranked volleyball combatants occurred on Sept. 20, 2000, when No. 9 Peru State College defeated the 13th-ranked Bulldogs, 13-15, 15-13, 15-5, 15-12, in Seward.
Concordia will also play at No. 11 Northwestern (15-3, 3-0 GPAC) on Saturday as part of a challenging week. The Bulldogs (14-3, 3-0 GPAC) own three wins this season over top 25 opponents: No. 19 Hastings, No. 20 Montana Tech and No. 24 Doane.
The 2000 GPAC championship team coached by Becky Ernstmeyer Loewe made regular appearances in the top 25. The Bulldogs were included in seven of 10 polls that season, climbing as high as 12th and finishing at No. 18. They concluded the season at 23-13 overall (9-1 GPAC).
The volleyball program is promoting a “redneck” theme for Wednesday’s home match. Fans are encouraged to wear redneck attire.