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Dordt College Tourney
Game Time...Sixth-ranked Northwestern plays host to #7 Midland on Saturday, Oct. 5 in a key GPAC volleyball match-up between ranked teams. Northwestern is currently in first place in the GPAC with a 6-0 record, 22-1 overall while Midland is tied for second place with a 5-1 mark, 23-1 overall. Watch/listen live to the match via the NWC webcast at the following link: Watch/Listen Now! or listen to the game via the KSOU broadcast at the following link: Listen Now!
All-Time...Northwestern has dropped the last three match-ups against Midland, including a 3-0 loss to the Warriors in the GPAC Tournament last year. The Red Raiders lead the all-time series, however, 41-8 and are 7-3 over the last 10 match-ups.
Scouting Midland...The Warriors are 5-1 in GPAC play, 23-1 overall heading into Saturday's match-up against Northwestern. Midland opened the year with 22 straight wins and climbed as high as fifth in the NAIA coaches' poll, its highest ever ranking in program's history. They lost to Dordt 3-1 last weekend and dropped two spots to seventh in this week's rankings. Midland rebounded from its first loss by defeating Doane 3-1 on Wednesday night.
Paul Giesselmann is in his fourth season as the Warriors' head coach and returns nearly everyone off a 2012 team that tied for third in the GPAC with an 11-5 record, 21-11 overall, losing in the conference semifinals to Hastings. They ended the year earning votes in the final NAIA coaches' poll. Giesselmann came to Midland after serving as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Creighton University. Prior to that, Giesselmann was the head coach at College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Neb.
Midland ranks third in the GPAC with a .245 hitting percentage, putting down a league-best 13.9 kills per set. Senior Mackenzie Scheef is the top hitter for the Warriors, averaging 3.1 kills per set and hitting .342 as one of the team's middle hitters. Junior Heather Pribyl returns playing opposite Scheef in the middle and leads the team with 76 blocks while averaging 2.3 kills per set. Junior Ashley Wheeler returns on the outside and averages 3.1 kills per set, hitting .178. She leads the team with 20 ace serves. Freshman KC Heimann averages 2.9 kills and hits .257. Megan Farley, a two-time all-GPAC selection, returns as the team's setter and leads the GPAC with 11 assists per set. Molly Petit and Becca Gradoville return in the backrow after earning all-conference honors last season.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders are currently in first place in the GPAC with a 6-0 record, 22-1 overall. They have won 21 straight matches and have already surpassed the win total from the 2012 season in which they finished 21-10 and earned votes in the final NAIA poll. Northwestern moved up to sixth in this week's coaches' poll, its highest ranking since the 2010 season.
Northwestern ranks second in the GPAC, fifth in the NAIA, with a .291 hitting percentage. They lead the GPAC in ace serves (149) and are the top blocking team in the conference (2.3 per set).
Kaitlin Floerchinger averages nearly four kills per set and is hitting .266 in leading the Northwestern offense. The junior All-American leads the GPAC with 50 ace serves and averages 2.9 digs per set. Karlie Schut ranks fourth in the GPAC in kills (3.6) and is hitting .279 on the right side for NWC. Schut has hit for double figures in all but one match and is third on the team with 57 blocks. Haley Chambers averages nearly two kills per set and is hitting .256 playing opposite Floerchinger. Kellie Goedken leads the team in hitting percentage (.349) and ranks second in the GPAC in blocks (1.1 per set). Payton Samuelson has 71 blocks and averages 1.1 kills. Brooke Fessler guides the Red Raider offense and lofts up 10.5 assists per set. She also averages nearly one kill per set and has 32 blocks. Alexis Bart leads the backrow with 4.4 digs per set.
Up Next...Northwestern will host Briar Cliff on Wednesday night, Oct. 9 at 6/7:30pm.