OMAHA, Neb. – In a match crucial to the postseason hopes of both squads in competition at the Lied Fitness Center on Wednesday (Oct. 17), College of Saint Mary avenged an earlier loss to the Concordia University volleyball team. The Flames overcame a strong performance from the Bulldogs’ Emmie Noyd to claim a 25-18, 25-19, 25-23, victory. Concordia had defeated College of Saint Mary in five sets in Seward back on Sept. 4.
Three matches remain in the regular season for first-year head coach Ben Boldt’s squad. The Bulldogs are now 13-10 overall and 3-10 in conference play (tied for 10th). They will have to be better down the stretch in order to keep the season alive.
“College of Saint Mary was way more aggressive than we were,” Boldt said. “We go back to our motto champs before champs and they were a better display of that tonight than us. CSM was much more physical at the net. That was disappointing.
“We showed some fight in the third set, but we have to be able to stop people. Their attacks were going off our hands. We have to be stronger at the net.”
From a statistical perspective, Noyd has played some of her best volleyball against the Flames (13-14, 3-9 GPAC). She slammed a career high 23 kills in the Concordia win in September. This time around she hit .562 and recorded a team high 10 kills and four blocks.
College of Saint Mary had much more balance and held the Bulldogs to negative hitting percentages in the first and second sets. The Flames got a match high 11 kills from Payton Robley and nine apiece from Dani Carlson, Makenna Freeman and Taylor Holmes. For the match, College of Saint Mary outhit Concordia, .255 to .073. Blocking was even (8-8), but the Flames had a big advantage in kills (45-31) and digs (47-34).
Jenna Habegger added nine kills for the Bulldogs. Kayle Dengel and Alex La Plant shared a team high with nine digs apice. Setter Tara Callahan earned credit for 28 assists.
The Bulldogs will now wait a week until hosting their final home match of the season next Wednesday (Oct. 24) versus Morningside (12-9, 6-5 GPAC). First serve is set for 7:30 p.m. CT. Seniors Kelsey Baark and Jenna Habegger will be recognized prior to the varsity match as part of senior night festivities. In the first meeting between Concordia and Morningside, the Mustangs won in four sets in Sioux City, Iowa, on Sept. 13.