Win streak ends in display of power ball

By Jacob Knabel on Sep. 10, 2016 in Volleyball

HASTINGS, Neb. – The win streak finally came to an end for the Concordia University volleyball team, which split a pair of matches on the second and final day of the Hastings College Invitational. The Bulldogs took care of Montana Western, 24-26, 25-22, 25-20, 25-22, in the day’s opening contest before falling at the hands of eighth-ranked MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.), 25-18, 22-25, 25-18, 25-18, to cap a three-match stay in Hastings.

Four of Concordia’s seven losses have now come against nationally-ranked foes. Saturday’s defeat snapped a seven-match win streak. The Bulldogs own an 8-7 overall mark.

“We were very up and down day today,” Mattera said. “We certainly brought out the best in both of our opponents. That's a compliment to them and an issue for us in that we aren't taking teams out of what they want to do. We survived the Montana Western match by making some adjustments on the fly and cleaning things up just enough to push through.”

Concordia has had no problem in recent action in regards to digging out of holes. The Bulldogs trailed Montana Western by as many as five points in the third set and six in the fourth before storming back to win in both instances. Montana Western struggled to contain Concordia from end to end. Paige Getz, who really picked up steam in the fourth set, hit .382 from the outside, Taylor Workman slugged .310 in the middle and Tiegen Skains attacked at a .290 clip from the right side.

Getz put together a big day, totaling 31 kills over the day’s eight sets. Her lasers from the outside just weren’t enough to overcome the Pioneers’ hot hitting. With star Gisele Silva (25 kills, 19 digs) unleashing bombs, MidAmerica Nazarene burned Concordia by attacking at a .354 rate. In addition, the Bulldogs were out-blocked, 9-3, in a match that displayed the power attacks of both sides.

“If you like power volleyball, that was a good match to watch,” Mattera said. “Unfortunately, while we went toe-to-toe with them power wise, they won more of the scrambles, made a few better shots and got a few blocks at key times.”

Mattera was encouraged by the solid weekend from Concordia’s strong group of attackers. Seniors Getz and Skains combined for 78 kills over the trio of matches in Hastings. Setter Alayna Kavanaugh handed out 99 more assists on Saturday.

“Tiegen and Paige were lethal on the pins today and Alex was really on for a good stretch in the MNU match,” Mattera said. “We are going to challenge anyone I the country with them hitting Iike that.”

Jocelyn Garcia compiled 50 digs, including 27 versus MidAmerica Nazarene, throughout Saturday’s action. Alex La Plant pasted 25 total kills and Workman added 23 on the day.

Conference play picks back up on Wednesday when the Bulldogs welcome College of Saint Mary (5-3, 1-1 GPAC) to Walz Arena for a 7 p.m. first serve. The last Flames visit to Walz Arena occurred in the 2015 GPAC tournament semifinal. Concordia advanced to the title match by toppling College of Saint Mary in four sets.