SEWARD, Neb. – No. 8-ranked Midland University took to the road for the first time in Great Plains Athletic Conference play on Tuesday night and came away with another conference win as they defeated Concordia University (25-19, 15-25, 25-18, 30-28). The Warriors improve to 11-2 (3-0 GPAC) while the Bulldogs drop their first match of the season and now have a 12-1 (2-1 GPAC) record.
Set one was controlled by the Warriors as they led wire-to-wire, never trailing the Bulldogs. Midland built a quick 4-1 lead and then kept Concordia at arm’s length en route to a six point win. The set was their best hitting set of the night as the Warriors had 17 kills against 3 errors (.452).
Concordia responded in the second set in front of a good-sized crowd inside the Walz Human Performance Complex. They treated their fans to a ten-point win. After trailing early and then holding a slim lead, the Bulldogs put the Warriors on tilt and rattled off nine straight to take a 22-11. They hit .288 in the set and forced Midland into nine errors for the easy win to knot the match.
The third set followed a script similar to the first as Midland jumped out to a quick advantage. Once again they thwarted each attempt by Concordia to comeback, winning the set 25-18. The Warriors had 13 kills in the set with just three errors (.270) while the Bulldogs were plagued with 7 errors to go along with 11 kills (.105).
Both teams had their successes and struggles in the fourth set. Midland had another nine errors while Concordia collected seven of their own. Neither team hit over .200 as the Warriors finished with a .154 mark and the Bulldogs a .188. It was the type of numbers you’d expect to see from a pair of quality GPAC teams. Midland would take the set and the match 30-28. There were 10 ties in the set, five early before the Warriors moved in front, and then five late after the Bulldogs responded with a rally to try and stay alive.
Jessica Peters had 45 assists on the night as she coordinated a balanced Midland attack. Four players finished with double digit kills, let by Sydney Morehouse’s 14. Taylor Petersen, Priscilla O’Dowd and Jenny Bair each floored 11 kills as well.
Defensively Jaisa Russell had a near perfect night with a team-high 18 digs with just one receiving error. Two others were in double figures as Mackenzie Wecker had 11 digs and O’Dowd had 15 to complete her double-double night.
“We didn’t have out ‘A game’ tonight but I was really proud of how our team responded down the stretch in a tough situation,” commented head coach Paul Giesselmann. “I though Sydney (Morehouse) and Taylor (Petersen) really stepped up and made some plays when we needed it. Mackenzie (Wecker) had a good night passing as well for us. That’s what top ten team do when things are not going well, they find a way to get the win.”
Up next the Warriors will travel to Omaha to take on College of Saint Mary (10-7, 0-2 GPAC) on Thursday night. First serve is set for 7:30 p.m. inside the Lied Fitness Center.