SEWARD, Neb. – For the second year in a row, standout setter Tara Callahan has garnered selection as a first team all-conference honoree. Callahan highlighted a list of five Bulldogs to be recognized with 2020 All-GPAC volleyball team awards, as announced by the conference on Thursday (Dec. 17). Teammates Gabi Nordaker and Camryn Opfer garnered second team all-conference accolades while Arleigh Costello and Marissa Hoerman were named honorable mention performers.
Head Coach Ben Boldt’s Concordia University Volleyball team went 12-3 in the GPAC and placed third in the 2020 conference regular season standings. The season will continue in the spring semester when both the GPAC tournament and NAIA national tournament are scheduled to be played.
A senior from Brady, Neb., Callahan has played a starring role in the program’s rise to national prominence. In 15 matches (50 sets) this fall, Callahan accumulated 552 assists, 86 digs, 22 kills, 21 blocks and 13 service aces. Callahan ranks fifth among all NAIA setters with an average of 11.04 assists per set. In a win over Mount Marty, Callahan surpassed 3,000 career assists, making her the third player in program history to accomplish that feat. While leading the Bulldogs to the NAIA national round of 16 in 2019, Callahan earned NAIA honorable mention All-America status. She is a four-time All-GPAC selection (two first team and two honorable mention awards).
A sophomore from Seward, Opfer has landed on the All-GPAC second team for the second year in a row to begin her collegiate career. The Seward High School product played in all 50 sets this fall and produced 140 digs, 122 kills (.159 hitting percentage), 24 blocks and 12 service aces. Statistically, Opfer enjoyed her best performance of 2020 when she pounded 12 kills and hit .579 from the outside in a home win over Hastings. In her first season with the Bulldogs, Opfer was named the GPAC Freshman of the Year and the AVCA West Central Region Freshman of the Year.
Nordaker, a freshman from Omaha, Neb., immediately stepped into the starting middle blocker role and excelled. The former Millard West High School star appeared in all 50 sets this fall and racked up a team high 61 blocks to go along with 135 kills and a .287 hitting percentage. After hitting .500 or better in back-to-back early season matches, Nordaker was voted the NAIA National Attacker of the Week on Sept. 22. She posted a season high 19 kills at Dakota Wesleyan on Oct. 17.
Costello, a junior from Gothenburg, Neb., has put together her best season as a Bulldog. Costello has floored 126 kills (2.52/set) and has hit .256 from the right side in 2020. She notched a season high 13 kills in the win over Midland on Sept. 30. Costello recorded 10 or more kills in four separate matches this fall.
A senior from Evergreen, Colo., Hoerman is now a two-time honorable mention All-GPAC choice. Hoerman has been a rock in the back row over her four years with the Bulldogs. This season, Hoerman has averaged career bests of 4.34 digs per set and 4.76 service receptions per set. She has totaled 229 receptions and 217 digs while passing serve receive at 96.2 percent clip. In 357 career sets played, Hoerman has recorded 1,256 digs.