Schedule note: Court #1
Red Raider Classic
@ Dickinson State
NAIA Region III Tournament
|Red Raider Classic|
Fri, Aug 23 - Sat, Aug 24
|Location:||Orange City, IA|
Game Time...Northwestern College will makes its 2013 season debut as they play host to the 19th-annual Red Raider Volleyball Classic this weekend, August 23-24. The two-day, 10-team event begins at 12:30pm on Friday with two matches and will conclude on Saturday night around 8pm. Northwestern, ranked 23rd in the NAIA preseason coaches' poll, will play four matches over the two-day span, beginning with Dickinson State (N.D.) at 4:30pm. They will then face Tabor (Kan.) later Friday night, followed by matches on Saturday against Valley City State (N.D.) and Baker (Kan.). Watch/listen live to all of the Red Raider matches via the Red Raider Sports Network at the following link: Watch/Listen Now!
All-Time...Northwestern owns a 16-1 combined all-time record over its four opponents this weekend, going 3-1 against Baker, 3-0 against Dickinson State, 1-0 against Tabor and 9-0 all-time against Valley City State.
Dickinson State...The Blue Hawks are making their season debut this weekend and return just five players and three regular rotation players from a 2012 team that finished 4-24 overall. DiSU finished ninth in the Frontier regular season standings with an 0-14 record but defeated Montana Western in the play-in game of the postseason tournament. They are picked to finish ninth in the 2013 Frontier preseason poll and will be making the transition to the newly formed NorthStar Athletic Conference next year.
Jon Stenman begins his first season as the head coach after a successful three-year stint at Centenary College (La.). He takes over for Maura Bronte, who resigned near the end of the 2012 season.
Senior Melissa Avila returns as the leading hitter after averaging a team-best 2.2 kills per set in 2012. She also served as one of the team's setters, lofting up nearly four assists per set. Senior Kelly O'Connor returns as the other team's setter and lofted up 3.3 assists and 2.1 digs per set.
Baker...Members of the Heart of America conference, the Wildcats also open the 2013 season at this weekend's classic. Picked second in its conference preseason coaches' poll, Baker returns all but two of its regular rotation players off a 2012 team that finished fourth in the HAAC with a 6-3 record, 19-14 overall. They lost to MidAmerica Nazarene in the 2012 conference semifinals but earned votes in the initial NAIA coaches' poll released earlier this week.
Kathy Allen returns for her 16th season as the Wildcats head coach and has a 331-186 all-time record since taking over in 1998. She ranks 25th in all-time wins within the NAIA.
The Wildcats averaged 11.6 kills per set and hit over .200 last year but lost one of its top hitters to graduation. Senior outside hitter Crystal Simon is the top returning hitter and averaged 2.3 kills per set, hitting nearly .200. Sophomore Danielle French also returns after ranking seventh in the NAIA with 139 blocks while posting 2.1 kills per set. French was the HAAC freshman of the year and earned first team all-conference honors. Senior Renata Dill is back as the team's libero and earned second team all-conference honors with 4.83 digs per set. Jasmyn Turner, another senior outside hitter, was named honorable mention all-conference honors after posting 72 blocks and 1.2 kills per set.
Valley City State...Formerly part of the Dakota Athletic Conference, the Vikings played in the Association of Independent Institutions league last year, losing in the conference semi's and ending the year with a 15-22 record. VCSU is now a member of the NorthStar Athletic Conference, a brand new conference with five teams this season and six (gaining Dickinson State) in 2014-15. The Vikings are 1-1 this season, dropping a 3-0 match to 15th-ranked Viterbo (Wis.) while defeating Waldorf (Iowa) 3-2, both matches played at the University of Jamestown (N.D.) Triangular.
Susan Kolbow begins her fourth season as the Vikings' head coach and returns seven starters from last year.
VCSU averaged 10.7 kills per set and hit .166 last year, led by middle hitter Aurissa Martens, who earned first team all-conference honors last year. Martens hit .255 and averaged nearly three kills and nearly one block per set. Junior Kaitlyn Heuring averaged 1.3 kills on the rightside, totaling 50 blocks for the Vikings. Anna Neufeld returns as one of the teams' setters and lofted up 4.5 assists per set.
Tabor...The only team from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference in the 10-team field, Tabor is making its season debut this weekend as well. The BlueJays return all but two of its regular players from a team that finished fourth in the KCAC with a 12-6 record, losing in the conference semifinals to Ottawa (Kan.) to finish 18-10.
Amy Ratzlaff returns for her 15th season as the BlueJays head coach and has to atone for the loss of the conference player of the year, Katie Vogts, their top hitter in 2012.
Tabor hit .222 and averaged 12.4 kills per set last year. Senior Jessie Vogts is the top returning hitter and averaged 2.9 kills per set on the outside. Both Vogts and middle hitter Katelin Horstick, who averaged 2.2 kills and recorded 80 blocks, earned second team all-conference honors. Senior Hollister Wolf returns as the teams setter, earning first team all-league honors after ranking 14th in the NAIA with 10.6 assists per set.
Red Raider News and Notes...Northwestern returns eight starters and letterwinners off a 2012 team that finished fifth in the GPAC at 10-6, 21-10 overall. They lost to Midland in the GPAC quarterfinals and ended the year earning votes in the final NAIA coaches' poll.
Kyle Van Den Bosch, in his ninth season as the head coach, owns the best winning percentage in the program's history (77%) and is 230-69 during his tenure. He was the GPAC coach of the year four times (2007-10).
Northwestern led the GPAC in blocking last season, averaging 2.6 per set as a team, eighth best in the NAIA. The Red Raiders limited opponents to a .145 hitting percentage. NWC averaged nearly 12 kills per set while hitting .231. Junior Kaitlin Floerchinger returns after ranking in the GPAC's top 10 in both kills per set (3.2) and hitting percentage (.248), earning All-American honors. Sophomore Karlie Schut averaged 1.9 kills per set and hit .258 on the rightside, earning second team all-conference honors. Madelin Hanno returns at the setter spot and lofted up 5.1 assists per set to go with 1.5 digs. Junior Alexis Bart led the GPAC in digs (4.72) and earned first team all-GPAC honors.
Up Next...Northwestern will play four matches in the two-day Bellevue Classic on August 30-31.