Volleyball reveals 2016 schedule

By Jacob Knabel on Apr. 12, 2016 in Volleyball

View 2016 varsity schedule

(Updated April 14)

SEWARD, Neb. – A year following the first national tournament appearance in program history, the Concordia University volleyball program is set to make its 2016 regular-season debut in 129 days when it welcomes Waldorf College to Seward for a JV/varsity matchup (Aug. 20) as part of Launch Weekend on campus. The slate again includes 16 GPAC contests and an early-season road trip of significance. The Bulldog Bash (Sept. 2-3) also continues to grow with 11 matches slotted in for the two-day event inside Walz Arena.

The Bulldogs will be in front of their home fans a total of 15 times in 2016. Concordia is 27-7 over its last 34 home matches. In addition, the schedule, as it stands right now, includes 10 matches versus teams that were ranked in the 2015 postseason poll: No. 6 Midland (twice), No. 9 Hastings (twice), No. 10 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), No. 14 Rocky Mountain (Mont.), No. 15 Dordt (twice), No. 17 Eastern Oregon and No. 25 Northwestern.

“There are so many factors that go into scheduling; competition level, recovery, travel budgets, home/away balance, effects on rankings and availability,” said Scott Mattera, who will enter his fifth season as head coach this fall. “I think our 2016 schedule strikes a really solid balance of all of those factors.”

A year after a 4-0 Chicago excursion in late August, Concordia will make the journey to Butte, Mont., for the Montana Tech University Big Sky Challenge, Aug. 26-27. The challenging two-day slate will put the Bulldogs up against a pair of 2015 top-25 foes.

“Our preconference tournament schedule includes three matches at the Hastings tourney and what should be a great trip to Montana to play some really high quality teams and take in some national parks,” Mattera said. “We are also hosting year two of the Bulldog Bash which will feature a couple of NCAA Division II opponents; Minot State and Bemidji State along with York, Bethany and Lindenwood-Belleville.”

The conference season will get started on Aug. 31 with a showdown at defending GPAC tournament champion Midland. Concordia doesn’t dodge any of the 2015 league heavyweights as it stares down two matches apiece against Midland, Hastings and Dordt.

“Of course there are always the big GPAC matchups and we are looking forward to those as well,” Mattera said. “But right now, we’re just trying to keep the focus on getting better at all of the little things that will keep us consistent through this entire schedule.”

The 2016 Bulldogs will return six of seven players who earned some form of all-conference recognition in 2015. Concordia will be loaded with experience with the likes of Annie Friesen, Jocelyn Garcia, Paige Getz, Alayna Kavanaugh, Tiegen Skains and Taylor Workman back in the fold.