SEWARD, Neb. – Head coach Scott Mattera did not have to go far to land the majority of the student-athletes that make up the class of 2017 Concordia University volleyball recruits. Eight of the new Bulldogs come from within the state of Nebraska. The states of Colorado, Minnesota and Texas are also represented in the incoming class.
Mattera has had success building a program while mining from many different states during his tenure. In-state recruiting has taken off just as the Bulldogs continue to extend their outreach throughout Nebraska.
“That’s been building for a few years now,” Mattera said. “Over the past several years we’ve been doing so many camps out in the community. We’ve done over 30 site camps at various high schools throughout the state. A lot more kids are recognizing that you can come to Concordia, get a great education and play some really good volleyball. I think it has a lot to do with how much we’ve been out in the community.”
With the losses from graduation, Mattera simply wanted to infuse additional talent into his roster with the incoming group.
“We’re losing a lot of experience at some pretty tough positions,” Mattera said. “We needed to go out and bring in some more height and athleticism and people that can put the ball away. Obviously, we’ll always take people who can pass and set. We brought in a lot players that have really high upside. The athleticism, the heart and the attitude are there. It’s a really high character class.”
The high character goes along with the credentials that this class possesses. Among the young pups is 6-foot-1 Tara Callahan, a Class D-2 first team all-state product of Brady High School. Other Nebraska natives to earn some form of all-state recognition from the Omaha World-Herald include Brooke Baugh (Friend), Allison Echtenkamp (Wayne), Allison Klipp (Meridian), Megan Kroeker (Heartland), Karissa Sims (Columbus) and Tristin Mason (Hampton). A 5-foot-6 libero, Mason joined Callahan on the Class D-2 first team.
“They’ve played high level volleyball,” Mattera said. “We really wanted to get to know these kids through the recruiting process. We talked to their coaches. We talked to their families. We talked to other people in their communities. It wasn’t just about whether they could play volleyball. We think we signed a really good class of future Bulldogs.”
Brooke Baugh | 6-0 | OH/RS | Friend, Neb. | Nebraska Revolution VBC
Tara Callahan | 6-1 | S/RS | Brady, Neb. | Flatrock VBC
Maggie Durbin | 5-10 | OH/RS | Omaha, Neb. | 5 Star VBC
Allison Echtenkamp | 5-9 | OH/RS | Wayne, Neb.
Marissa Hoerman | 5-7 | DS | Evergreen, Colo. | Juggernaut VBC
Allison Klipp | 5-7 | DS/OH | Tobias, Neb. | Nebraska Revolution VBC
Megan Kroeker | 5-10 | M | Henderson, Neb.
Anna Lund | 6-0 | M | Rochester, Minn. | Southwest Minnesota VBC
Tristin Mason | 5-6 | DS/S | Hampton, Neb. | Nebraska Revolution VBC
Karissa Sims | 5-10 | OH/RS | Columbus, Neb. | Nebraska Revolution VBC
Kara Stark | 6-0 | M/OH | Frisco, Texas