FREMONT, Neb. – No. 6 Midland University notched its third consecutive sweep on Wednesday night, commencing GPAC play with a straight set victory over No. 20 Concordia University at the Wikert Event Center. A crowd of 1,883 witnessed the Lady Warriors improve to 8-0 in their home opener.
Midland swept Concordia by set scores of 25-21, 25-21 and 25-19.
“I tell our team all the time – any GPAC win is a good win,” said head coach Paul Giesselmann. “Concordia is a lot better than their record shows, and they are going to get better as the season continues. They were able to take leads in each of the first two sets by controlling the passing and serving game which is very uncharacteristic for us to allow. I thought once we got off our heels though, the crowd really got behind us and helped carry us. The fan support we receive from our students and community members is second-to-none.”
In a rematch of the 2015 GPAC championship, the Bulldogs showed a short-memory of last year’s loss and little intimidation of the capacity crowd by surging out to a 5-1 lead in the first set on Wednesday. A four-point Concordia run shortly after extended the visiting team’s lead to 9-4 before Midland got things rolling.
The Warriors chipped away at their deficit, eventually taking a 13-12 lead on a pair of KC Heimann service aces sandwiched around a kill by Krystina Koepke. Concordia would tie the score on three separate occasions from there, but Midland never trailed again. The Warriors went on a 6-2 run to close out the 25-21 win.
Concordia was the aggressor once again in the second set, pulling out to a 7-3 lead after a service ace. Midland trailed for a majority of the game before finally tying the score at 18-18. A kill by freshman Shelby Bretschneider cut the Warrior deficit to 18-15 and sparked an eight point run by the home team to the crowd’s delight.
Priscilla O’Dowd exploded for seven kills in the second-set victory en route to a match-high 15 kills.
After closing the second set on a 13-5 run, Midland never trailed in the third and final set. The Warriors forced a pair of early Bulldog timeouts when leading by scores of 4-1 and 11-6.
The Bulldogs slashed their deficit to 17-15 midway through the third game, but a five-point Midland run put the game away for good.
Heimann and Koepke finished with seven kills apiece. Heimann led the way with 11 digs and Koepke recorded four blocks. Jessica Peters totaled 31 set assists and 10 digs.
“I was really pleased with how Krystina played in her first game back at home as she continues to get stronger from last year’s injury,” Giesselmann added. “Nicole Skovsende also did a real nice job coming in to serve when we needed to give a different look. She was very poised as a freshman in front of this huge crowd.”
Concordia falls to 1-6 (0-1 GPAC) after its sixth straight loss.
The Warriors return to action in their final tournament of the regular season beginning on Friday at the Bellevue Classic. All three matches will be against teams ranked or receiving votes in the Top 25. Midland opens play against (RV) Oklahoma City University on Friday at 9 a.m.