CUNE Bulldogs volleyball team earned their first ever national tournament win on December 3rd. Photo by Whitney Pottschmidt.
By Graham Friske
The Concordia Bulldogs volleyball program made history on Tuesday night with a win against the No. 19 ranked Montana Tech Orediggers. The 3-1 victory (25-16, 22-25, 25-14, 25-18) marks the first national tournament win in the program’s history.
With a late start and finish In Sioux City, Iowa, Concordia easily handled the Orediggers, only dropping a closely contested second match. The Bulldogs, led by senior Emmie Noyd (16 kills) and junior Tara Callahan (39 assists), blasted the Orediggers in the third set which gave Concordia a huge momentum swing in which the Orediggers could never recover from. In the match, Concordia out-hit the Orediggers .322 to .156 and contained a commanding 13-3 advantage in blocks.
“Our coaches really focused on knowing what our strengths are and building on our skillset,” Noyd said. “Just the different shots we were able to hit tonight really set it up for us to win tonight. I think that was really the difference in how we were able to go into it so confident in this match.”
Before the official 16-team bracket is set, Concordia must battle all teams in their pool. Ranked fifteenth entering the tournament, the Bulldogs began pool play Tuesday night against the Montana Tech Diggers, in which they won. Concordia will play again on Wednesday (8 p.m. against University of Saint Mary) and Thursday (6 p.m. against Indiana Wesleyan University).
History has been made for Concordia, but the party has only begun. If Concordia places in the top half of their pool, they will advance to the official 16-team bracket for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national title. That tournament will begin on Dec. 6.