MOORHEAD – The Concordia women’s volleyball team ended their season this week after a loss to St. Olaf in the first round of the playoffs. The Cobbers fell to the Oles in four sets, losing 20-25, 28-26, 17-25 and 16-25.
This season marked the team’s first playoff appearance since 2016, and the team’s best overall record since 2015.
The Cobbers finished their season with a record of 15-14 and a conference record of 6-5, placing them sixth in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). This is a jump from last year, when they were ranked seventh in the MIAC and ended their season with a 9-15 record.
The team has been working hard to improve year after year and it’s beginning to pay off, Concordia volleyball head coach Faith Radermacher said.
“The MIAC is a tough, competitive conference, with the top four teams being regionally ranked,” Radermacher said. “Making the playoffs was a goal we set for ourselves early in the season, and it was fun to watch the girls accomplish that goal.”
Growth and commitment from the off season were a large contributor to the team’s success this season, along with fire and energy brought from the freshmen class, Radermacher said.
Providing comfort to her girls after a season-ending loss is an ongoing thing, as she cares tremendously for each of her players, Radermacher said.
“When you watch a group of ladies commit to the level of growth that this team did, when it comes to an end, I just hug them and let them know how proud I am and the positive impact that they had on one another,” Radermacher said.
Fifth-year senior and outside hitter, Brook Carney was happy to end her five years on the Concordia volleyball team on a positive note, while offering advice to her team as they move on without her next season.
“Concordia volleyball has some amazing athletes and coaches, and I believe in their success for next season. My advice for my teammates is never take anything for granted,” Carney said, “I would do anything to play another game, but I cherish all the special memories that were made.”
Three Cobber volleyball players earned MIAC post-season honors. Senior setter Kaia Lill and sophomore outside hitter Mallory Leitner were named to the All-Conference Team, while junior middle hitter Maria Watt received All-Conference Honorable Mention honors. This marks the team’s first time having more than two players receive All-Conference honors since 2013.
Leitner, one of three sophomores to be named to the twenty-two player All-Conference Team, said that she’s looking forward to next season. She credited the team’s five seniors for their leadership and is confident that her fellow returning teammates will step up to the plate and carry their success from this year into the next.
“Having a successful season this year and making it to the playoffs gives us a positive outlook for next season, because we know the level of volleyball we can compete at,” Leitner said, “For me, personally, that makes me very excited to see what the future holds for us as a team.”