Posted by: Sports
Concordia rallied to win an exciting match in a come-from-behind effort to defeat Dakota Wesleyan in five games, improving its record to 5-9 on the season and 2-3 in conference play.
After winning the first game 25-17, the Bulldogs dropped the next two games, 25-20 and 26-24. Momentum shifted in the crucial fourth game, however, as the Bulldogs took control with a 25-23 victory, and finished the night beating the Tigers 15-9.
Leading the attack for the Bulldogs was sophomore Amanda Abbott with 17 kills and senior Amanda Kisker with 16 kills. Sophomore Kayla James chipped in with 24 assists while sophomore Jami Nekoliczak added 21 assists.
"Ammanda Abbott had a huge match for us today," head coach Scott Mattera said. "She was solid all the way through. She was reliable."
Abbott talked about her performance but explained that much of the credit goes out to her teammates as well.
"I think I did really well, but I had a lot of support from my teammates," Abbott said. "Everybody worked really hard to win those games."
The Bulldogs looked like a different team in the final two games, and Abbott explained the team's mentality heading into the final two sets and the difference in the team that has led to their recent success.
"We've been working really hard in practice," Abbott said. "We have a lot of energy on the court. We've been working really hard to improve, and we have. I think it shows (because) we're winning. We knew we were going to win, we knew we were the better team. By working really hard and doing what we do best, we won that game."
Defensively, the Bulldogs were led by sophomore Carli Smith who contributed 27 digs, and Kisker with 13 digs.
Mattera explained that while it was not the most impressive performance that the Bulldogs put on, he was proud of their effort and resiliency.
"It wasn't always pretty," Mattera said. "The message we gave to them in the locker room was it resembled what we did in practice all week. We figured out how to finish, we figured out how to win a game even though we're not performing perfectly. Today we were sloppy but we found a way to pull it out and I'm really proud of them for it."
The Bulldogs will travel to Hastings for their next match to take on the Broncos on Sept. 26.
"We play well against good competition," Abbott said. "We can really compete. If we stay up and start strong, we can definitely win."
Mattera is ready and confident for the upcoming schedule and is hopeful for what his team can do with its remaining schedule.
"Moving forward, those games we were loosing by two to three points, maybe we'll find a way to win those games," Mattera said. "I have all the confidence in the world we're going to be a tough team to play coming down the stretch."