Schedule note: Court #2
@ Johnson and Wales
College of St. Mary Classic
Fri, Sep 6 - Sat, Sep 7
|Venue:||Lynn Farrell Arena|
Game Time...23rd-ranked Northwestern resumes its 2013 season as they head to play in the Hastings Tournament this weekend, Sept. 5-6. The Red Raiders will play four matches at the two-day event, beginning with Johnson & Wales (Colo.) at 2pm on Friday. They will then face fifth-ranked Oklahoma Baptist at 6pm, followed by two matches on Saturday against Montana-Western and 12th-ranked Bellevue (Neb.).
All-Time...Northwestern is 1-0 all-time against both Johnson & Wales and Oklahoma Baptist. The Red Raiders are 7-5 all-time against Bellevue, 2-2 over the last four match-ups. This will be the first ever match-up against Montana-Western.
Johnson & Wales...The Wildcats come into the weekend with a 4-5 record, losing five straight matches since a 4-0 start. Johnson & Wales earned wins over Haskell, Southwestern Christian, Bethel (Kan.) and Oklahoma Wesleyan but lost five straight in a tournament played in California.
They play in the Association of Independent Institutions League and return six players from last year's squad that went 6-21. Lara Galas is in her third season with the Wildcats after being named head coach in 2011.
J&W is hitting .129 this season, averaging just over 10 kills per set. Danica Lawrence is the top hitter, averaging 2.6 kills and hitting .324 out of the middle. Lizzie Michalski is one of the top returners and averages 1.7 kills per set. Veronica Gibbs returns as the libero and leads the team with 4.4 digs per set.
Oklahoma Baptist...The fifth-ranked Bison are off to a 6-2 start this season, including a 2-2 record against ranked teams. They lost to #8 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) and #11 Madonna (Mich.) but defeated #21 Eastern Oregon and #10 Embry-Riddle (Fla.).
Anna Howle is in her fifth season as the head coach and returns just five players and four starters off a 2012 team that finished 35-6 and lost in the national quarterfinals to Texas at Brownsville. Howle earned Sooner Athletic Conference coach of the year honors after winning both the regular and postseason titles.
OBU is hitting .219 while averaging 13.4 kills per set. The Bison are limiting opponents to a .09 kill efficiency and average over 2.5 blocks per set. Kristin Pressley earned first team All-American honors last year and leads the team with 4.6 kills, hitting .323 on the outside. OBU has a pair of new setters, Aysegul Guney and Rachel Aguilar, who combine to loft up over 10 assists per set. Catherine Roth also returns and averages 1.5 kills to go with 24 blocks.
Montana-Western...A member of the Frontier Conference, UMW has a 6-6 record this season. They are 0-2 against ranked opponents, losing to Eastern Oregon and Vanguard (Calif.).
Lisa Griffiths is in her third season at Montana-Western and has improved her team's record in each of the past two years. Last season, UMW went 10-19, the best record since 2005. They finished eighth in the Frontier Conference at 5-11 and return five players from last year.
Sophomore Brea Mitchell is the top returning hitter, earning all-freshman honors last year. She leads the team with a .269 kill efficiency, putting down 1.8 kills and 30 blocks. Paige Latimer returns as the setter and lofts up over six assists per set in sharing the load with newcomer Rachelle Chamberlain. Senior Charelle Minor was the top blocker in 2012 and returns in the middle, putting down 42 blocks this season.
Bellevue...The 12th-ranked Bruins are 6-1 this season, earning wins over three ranked teams (Doane, St. Francis and Indiana Wesleyan). Their only loss was to #13 Midland (Neb.).
Trish Siedlik is in her eighth season as the Bruins coach and has over 200 wins and a 75% winning percentage during her tenure. She has guided her teams so six consecutive national tournaments, five MCAC regular season and six postseason championships. Last year, Bellevue set the school record with 36 wins (36-11), including a 13-0 mark in conference play. Siedlik returns all but one player from her 2012 team.
Bellevue is hitting .220 as a team, putting down 13.6 kills per set. Annie Benson and Sydney DeBoer return as the top hitters after earning first team all-conference honors. Benson is hitting .206 and puts down nearly three kills per set on the outside while DeBoer is hitting .291, averaging 2.8 kills per set in the middle. Sunny Bell puts down 2.9 kills per set as another outside hitter while Beth Walker lofts up 12 assists per set in her first season as the team's setter.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders have won seven straight matches and head into the weekend with an 8-1 record. Picked to finish first, along with 13th-ranked Midland, in the 11-team Great Plains Athletic Conference in the preseason coaches' poll, Northwestern is ranked 23rd in the NAIA preseason rating.
Head coach Kyle Van Den Bosch is in his ninth season with the Red Raiders and hold the highest winning percentage in the program's history and has over 230 wins. The four-time GPAC coach of the year returns six players off last year's squad that finished 21-10, earning votes in the final NAIA coaches' poll.
Northwestern is hitting .304 this season, averaging 12.8 kills per set, while holding opponents to a .121 kill efficiency. They lead the GPAC with 76 ace serves and are the top blocking team in the conference (2.6 per set).
Kaitlin Floerchinger averages a team-best four kills per set while hitting .266 on the outside. The junior All-American leads the GPAC with 28 ace serves and averages 2.9 digs per set. Sophomore Karlie Schut averages 3.6 kills per set, hitting .336 for the Red Raiders. A second team all-conference pick in 2012, Schut registers 2.7 digs per set in the backrow. Haley Chambers averages 1.5 kills per set while middle hitters Kellie Goedken and Payton Samuelson combine for three kills and 2.25 blocks per set. Both middles are hitting better than .300. Brooke Fessler lofts up 10.2 assists in her first season at NWC. The sophomore averages 2.7 digs and has 16 blocks on the year. Alexis Bart anchors the backrow with 4.4 digs per set.
Up Next...Northwestern will have a week off before heading to play in the MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) Invitational on Sept. 13-14.