ORANGE CITY, Iowa – The Concordia University volleyball team pushed second-ranked and undefeated Westmont College (Calif.) to four sets as part of action at the Bultman Center in Orange City, Iowa, on Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs ultimately left empty handed after falling to host Northwestern, 25-18, 25-15, 25-19, and then to Westmont, 25-21, 22-25, 25-22, 25-15.
The Warriors (22-0) were the sixth top-10 team that fifth-year head coach Scott Mattera’s squad has faced in 2016. Concordia is now 11-13 overall with nine of its losses coming against ranked opponents.
“I liked our effort and togetherness in this match,” Mattera said of the effort versus Westmont. “We played with nothing to lose and had fun battling against a very talented team. We took game two and had real opportunities in one and three. We might have run out of gas a bit at the end of a long day in game four, but I’m proud of the effort. Now we need to take this nothing-to-lose attitude and play that free and loose down the stretch. If we can do that while getting healthy we can be a very strong contender down the stretch.”
During their brightest moment of the day, the Bulldogs held the nation’s eighth most efficient hitting team to an attack percentage of .182 in the second set of action versus Westmont. Senior Paige Getz, who piled up 24 kills on the day, put away two crucial points late in the set, including point No. 24. The Warriors responded in a big way. They hit .393 in the fourth set to stamp out Concordia’s upset bid.
Mattera felt a lack of aggression in his team’s serve and pass game allowed Northwestern to get too comfortable on the attack. The Red Raiders (13-13, 5-4 GPAC) hit .330 on the afternoon. Lauryn Hilger had a field day, going for 18 kills on 34 swings. Getz registered 10 kills for a Bulldog team that hit .174 versus Northwestern. Said Mattera, “Paige put some really good swings on the ball and did a great job of staying positive throughout.”
Senior Taylor Workman enjoyed a solid day in the middle. She totaled 16 kills on 30 attacks for the day. Junior Jocelyn Garcia contributed 27 digs.
The Bulldogs will face another significant challenge on Wednesday when top-ranked Midland (17-1, 7-1 GPAC) makes its way to Walz Arena. First serve is set for 7:30 p.m. CT. The Warriors suffered their first defeat of the season on Wednesday when third-ranked Hastings upset them in Fremont. Wednesday’s contest will be a rematch of the 2015 GPAC tournament championship match that went in Midland’s favor.