FREMONT, Neb. – No. 12 Midland University battled back from a two-game deficit to defeat Concordia University (20-25, 22-25, 27-25, 25-14, 15-7) on Saturday afternoon. The Lady Warriors improve to 21-4 (13-2 GPAC) with the victory while the Bulldogs fall to 14-11 (4-11 GPAC).
Concordia was playing with high energy and focus during the early going as they are in the hunt for the eighth and final spot in the GPAC tournament. They out hit Midland .287 to .167 in the first two sets, committing two less errors and flooring seven more kills.
During the third set Midland would regroup after a trip to the locker room during the longer set break. They came out focused and despite being out hit by the Bulldogs again, came away with a win in extra points. Neither team led by more than three points in the set that also featured eight ties. Looking at the stats for set three, the Bulldogs led in nearly every category. They outhit Midland .289 to .156, had four blocks to Midland’s one, and committed five fewer attacking errors (4-9). The difference came at the service line as the Bulldogs had four service errors in the set to the Warriors’ zero.
That trend continued over the final two sets as Midland won the serve-receive which led to better passing. The Warriors’ momentum lead to a .485 hitting percentage in the fourth and .529 in the fifth. Midland also blocked six balls in the final two sets which led to Concordia hitting .100 and -.053.
“The team was really disappointed with the start that they had today,” commented head coach Paul Giesselmann. “They just didn’t have the energy or focus. You’ve got to give Concordia credit because the first two games they played almost perfect.”
“We made a couple adjustments with our serving and where we started. I give the girls a lot credit because down the stretch in game three I thought their mental toughness was the difference. I’m really proud of the effort they showed. That’s the difference in a program that has played in so many big matches. We’re used to being in those situations.”
Midland (21-4, 13-2 GPAC) will close out the regular season on Wednesday night with a road contest at Hastings (17-5, 12-3 GPAC). First serve between the Warriors and Broncos is set for 7:30 p.m. inside Farrell Arena in Hastings, Nebraska.