Volleyball moves on, looks ahead to GPAC play

By Jacob Knabel on Aug. 30, 2016 in Volleyball

SEWARD, Neb. – Another hectic week is upon the 20th-ranked Concordia University volleyball team. The Bulldogs are moving on after a weekend trip to the Big Sky Challenge in Butte, Mont., where they fell in all four matches (eight sets decided by two points).

It was a tough weekend, but you won’t find any panic in a team that plays loose and has many of the key figures back from the 2015 group that reached the national tournament. Head coach Scott Mattera was eager to get his team back in the gym for practice on Monday, a day after the team returned from its long bus ride back from Montana.

Some of the little things kept biting the Bulldogs late in sets in last week’s action.

“We’re not using all of our weapons yet,” Mattera said at the conclusion of the Big Sky Challenge. “We just haven’t installed a lot of that yet. Maybe with the scheduling we bit off a little bit more than we could chew early on. That’s on me. When you really look at it, preseason is about getting better. We’re not happy with being 1-5. We also know we have 20-some matches left on our schedule and the season is very, very young.”

The schedule will continue to provide opportunities for signature wins. It won’t get any easier on Wednesday as Concordia travels to play undefeated and sixth-ranked Midland (7-0) in the GPAC opener for both teams. The Warriors are riding high having already toppled four ranked opponents. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs would relish the chance to end Midland’s unbeaten season just as they did last season in Fremont, where Concordia won in five sets over a Warrior team that sported a 22-0 record entering the match.

Senior Paige Getz, who just became the eighth player in program history to total 1,000 career kills as a Bulldog, has confidence in her teammates. “I think we learned a lot about the little things,” Getz said after this past weekend’s action. “We definitely play well together. We have amazing talent. It’s just little things we need to fix.”

Following Wednesday’s short conference road trip, the Bulldogs will entertain five other volleyball programs, including two NCAA Division II programs, as part of the Bulldog Bash (Sept. 2-3). Concordia will play twice inside Walz Arena on both Friday and Saturday (schedule below).

All 11 matches at the Bulldog Bash will be carried live on the Concordia Sports Network. Friday night’s contest versus Minot State University (N.D.) (8 p.m.) will also be broadcast live via 104.9 Max Country radio. Frank Greene will call the action.

Bulldog Bash (Sept. 2-3)

Friday, Sept. 2
York vs. Lindenwood Belleville, 11 a.m.
Concordia vs. Bemidji State, 1 p.m.
Minot State vs. Lindenwood Belleville, 4 p.m.
Bemidji State vs. York, 6 p.m.
Concordia vs. Minot State, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 3
Concordia vs. Lindenwood Belleville, 9 a.m.
Bemidji State vs. Bethany (Kan.), 11 a.m.
York vs. Minot State, 1 p.m.
Bemidji State vs. Lindenwood Belleville, 4 p.m.
Minot State vs. Bethany, 6 p.m.
Concordia vs. York, 8 p.m.