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Home Sports Concordia volleyball season ends in national group play

Photo description: Junior Cassidy Knust serves the ball over the net as sophomore Ashley Keck looks on. 

Photo credit: Josiah Seabaugh (photo from previous game)

Darien Semedo

Sower Staff


The Concordia Bulldogs’ (25-4) volleyball season ended in a sweep to GPAC rival Midland Warriors (18-11) as offense disappeared in the final group play game.

The Great Plains Athletic Conference is one of the strongest volleyball conferences in the NAIA. Because of that, the Bulldogs were prepared and battle-tested headed into the tournament. The Bulldogs faced the difficult task of beating a team for the third time this season. Midland came to fight and had every answer to one of the top ranked offenses in the nation.

Both teams went back and forth in the first and with the score 25-23 Midland, a service error gave the ball to Midland, and they closed the set on a block. In the second, the Bulldogs hit for .100 percent, losing 25-16. In the final set, Midland was able to weather an early push and hold on to win 25-21.

On offense, Senior Bree Burtwhistle finished with 28 assists setting up Senior Kamryn Opfer (8) who led in kills. Sophomore Ashely Keck (8), Senior Gabi Nordaker (7), and Senior Sara Huss (5) rounded out the offense. Midland found a way to set their block up on most of Concordia’s attacks, leading to 12 total blocks on the afternoon. The team had some untimely service errors, and finished hitting .087 percent in the game, one of the lowest percentages of the year.

On defense, the Bulldogs finished with seven total blocks including two solo blocks from Huss. Opfer (14) led the team in digs while Junior Rebecca Gebhardt (13) and Junior Cassidy Knust (10) finished in double digits. Concordia did well to limit First team All-GPAC Abbey Ringler, but Second team All-GPAC Jacki Apel finished with 10 kills on an efficient .364 percent. As a team, Midland hit .224 percent in the afternoon, showing how much damage the Bulldogs did to themselves.

While this season did not end well for Head Coach Ben Boldt and his team, there are plenty of positives from this season. The team won its first GPAC season title since 2000, held the No. 1 rank in two polls, and had multiple career milestones hit by his players.

In his sixth season with the program, Coach Boldt has the Bulldogs trending towards being a mainstay in the GPAC. The Bulldogs will be eager to get to next season, but the nine Bulldogs that were honored during senior night, as well as Opfer and Burtwhistle, have played their last game for Concordia University and should be acknowledged for everything accomplished during their tenure.

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