by Jacy Johnston
The Concordia volleyball team traveled to Montana for the Big Sky Volleyball Challenge on Aug. 26 and 27. The trip did not result in wins for the Bulldogs who dropped four matches by close margins. Despite the losses, Concordia lost 8 of its 12 weekend sets by two points, pointing to a good future.
“Dropping this many close games is major test of our togetherness and emotional maturity as a team,” head coach Scott Mattera said via email interview.
Concordia began the tournament Friday against Great Falls College. The Bulldogs dropped the first set 19-25. The next two sets both went in favor of Great Falls 25-23. Sophomore Jenna Habegger lead the Bulldogs from the service line with three aces, and senior Alayna Kavanaugh added another two. Senior Paige Getz led the team with 10 kills.
The second match on Friday for Concordia took place against Carroll College. After a 12-12 tie, the Bulldogs took a 15-12 lead. Carroll quickly tied the game back up before winning 27-25 on an ace. The second set stayed close, but Concordia gained a 24-23 lead. The Bulldogs lost the second set 27-25. To finish the set Carroll College won 25-23. Freshman Alex La Plant led the Bulldogs with 10 kills and Getz added another nine.
On Saturday, Concordia faced No. 8 Eastern Oregon University in the early morning match up. After a close start, Eastern Oregon controlled the first game 25-19, and dominated the second game 25-14. The Bulldogs responded in the third set with an early 4-2 lead from three kills by Getz. Senior Tiegen Skains continued Concordia’s momentum with three back to back points to give the Bulldogs a 14-13. Eastern Oregon responded to finish the game with a 25-22 win over the Bulldogs.
“Right now we are certainly frustrated with the scores but we are also all very positive about the level of play we are displaying at times,” Mattera said, “We know that being this close with such little practice under our belts together bodes very well for who we will be in the near future!”
To finish out the weekend, Concordia played No. 15 Rocky Mountain College. The final match added to the theme of close games. The Bulldogs began the first set with multiple ties, but fell 23-25. La Plant helped the Bulldogs begin the second set with a 10-7 lead, but the momentum shifted to Rocky Mountain for a 25-23 win over Concordia. Rocky Mountain finished off the match with a third set win in 25-23. Getz led the Bulldogs with 13 kills in the match, and Skains added another 10.
During the first Saturday set, Getz tallied her 1,000 career kill. She had 22 on the day to lead the team.
“It has always been obvious even way back when we recruited [Getz] that she would do special things here. As impressive to me as the kill numbers is her development in life areas such as leadership and perspective,” Mattera said.
Concordia returns home with a 1-5 record. The Bulldogs continue their season on Wednesday, Aug. 31 at Midland University to begin their GPAC competition. The varsity game begins at 7:30 p.m. in Fremont.