@ Nebraska Wesleyan
@ Nebraska Wesleyan
@ Nebraska Wesleyan
@ Nebraska Wesleyan
Game Time...Fifth-ranked Northwestern plays host to a pair of conference teams this weekend in the Bultman Center. The Red Raiders begin with a Friday night match-up against Nebraska Wesleyan at 6/7:30pm, followed by a Saturday match-up against Hastings for senior/parent's day at 3:30/5pm. All of the matches can be viewed/heard via the NWC webcast at the following link: Watch/Listen Now!
All-Time...Northwestern holds a 29-3 advantage in the season series against Nebraska Wesleyan but lost last year's match-up to the Prairie Wolves 3-0 in Lincoln, Neb. The Red Radiers are 26-27 all-time against Hastings but are 7-3 over the last 10 meetings, despite losing both matches last year to the Broncos.
Scouting Nebraska Wesleyan...The Prairie Wolves have won two straight matches heading into Friday night's showdown against Northwestern. They swept both Dakota Wesleyan and Concordia last week to improve to 8-4 in the GPAC, currently in fifth place in the conference. NWU is 18-6 overall.
Rayna Cain is in her second year as the Prairie Wolves' head coach after spending two years as the assistant at Des Moines Area Community College. Prior to that, Cain served as the head coach at Dana College. She returns three starters and seven players off a 2012 team that finished tied for sixth in the GPAC with a 7-9 mark, 13-15 overall.
Nebraska Wesleyan ranks sixth in the GPAC with a .216 hitting percentage, averaging over 13 kills per set. They rank fifth as a team in blocks (2.01) and first in digs (17.8).
Junior Katelyn Walsh, a second team all-GPAC pick in 2012, is the top hitter for the Prairie Wolves, putting down three kills per set while hitting .227 as one of the team's outside hitters. Freshman Malory Dahl hits .249 and averages 2.8 kills per set, also as one of the team's outside hitters. Junior Alyssa Stanek leads the team with a .284 kill efficiency and leads the GPAC with 93 blocks. Junior Alex Springman returns as one of the team's setters, lofting up 5.9 assists per set. Alexa Rosenau, a transfer from York College, also sets and lofts up six sets per set. Senior Mackenzie Hite, a 2012 AVCA All-American and second team all-GPAC selection, ranks fourth in the GPAC in digs (4.6).
Scouting Hastings...The defending GPAC Champions head into the weekend tied with Midland for second in the GPAC with a 9-2 record, 18-9 overall. They earned votes in the last NAIA coaches' poll (Oct. 22) and have won three straight matches, earning wins over Nebraska Wesleyan, Mount Marty and #18 Dordt. The Broncos' two losses in conference play are to Dordt (Sept. 21) and Midland (Oct. 9).
Matt Buttermore is in his second season as the Broncos' head coach and returns five starters and 10 players off a 2012 that won the GPAC regular season title with a 16-0 record. They finished the year with a 30-7 record, losing in the national quarterfinals to national champion Concordia (Calif.). Buttermore was named the GPAC coach of the year last season.
Hastings is fifth in the GPAC with a .218 hitting percentage, averaging 12.9 kills per set. They are second in blocks (2.2) and third in ace serves (157).
All-American Shayna Schacher leads the Broncos' offense, averaging 2.3 kills while hitting .296 as one of the team's middle hitters. She has 79 blocks this season and is a three-time all-conference player. Jessica Osterhaus also returns in the middle and ranks second in the GPAC with 105 blocks (1.05 per set). She is hitting .263, averaging nearly two kills per set and earned all-conference honors in 2012. Junior Katie Zoucha returns on the rightside after earning all-conference honors last year. Zoucha is hitting .287 and averages 2.5 kills per set. Freshman Kalynn Dahlke ranks fifth in the GPAC with 3.7 kills per set, hitting .159 on the outside. Another freshman, Chandelle Davidson, took over the setting duties this year and lofts up 9.6 assists per set. Libby Kissinger averages nearly four digs per set as the team's libero.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders currently lead the GPAC with an 11-0 record, 27-1 overall. They have won 26 straight matches since losing to Tabor in the second match of the year. Northwestern is ranked fifth in the NAIA, a spot they have held for three consecutive weeks.
Northwestern is the top blocking team in the GPAC, averaging 2.2 per set. They are second in the league in both ace serves (173) and hitting percentage (.289) while putting down 13.4 kills per set.
Both Kaitlin Floerchinger and Karlie Schut rank in the GPAC's top five in kills per set, averaging 3.9 and 3.7 respectively. Schut ranks 10th in the GPAC with a .283 kill efficiency and both players also rank in the top five in ace serves. Kellie Goedken leads the team with a .356 hitting percentage and ranks third in the GPAC with 103 blocks. Brooke Fessler continues to be among the leading setters, averaging 10.6 assists per set while hitting .483 at the net. Alexis Bart ranks sixth in the league with 4.3 digs per set.
Saturday marks one of the final home matches for the Red Raiders' three seniors: Nicole Jacobs, Claire Roesner and Jada Vander Veen. These seniors have been part of Red Raider teams that have an overall record of 103-29, winning 78% of their matches, and 48-11 in conference play.
Says Coach Van Den Bosch: "These three young ladies have been part of the foundation of what makes Northwestern volleyball special. They have a passion for Christ and a passion for the game of volleyball. They give so freely of themselves and always put the team ahead of themselves. They have all worked incredibly hard to get where they are, in all the areas of their life, including volleyball. They have been incredible leaders, each in their own way, to our volleyball program. "
Nicole Jacobs-played in 45 matches, 148 games; 216 digs (1.5 per set)
Coach Van Den Bosch states: "Nicole has really put in her time to improve greatly throughout the years from her freshman season. She has worked very hard in the off-seasons to earn her spot on the varsity floor. After 2 ½ years with our JV, she has really established herself as an excellent defensive player for our team and program. She is a great example of “hard work pays off”. She has also been one of the team’s vocal leaders over the years and gets the group pumped up before each game. Nicole has also blessed many young volleyball campers over the years with her energetic style of coaching camp. Thank you Nicole for your passion for Northwestern volleyball and for your teammates."
Claire Roesner-played in 66 matches, 224 games: 62 ace serves, 139 digs
Coach Van Den Bosch states: "Claire has been a steady competitor in our program over the last four years. She has played every back row position for us and has been a strong varsity server for us these last two seasons. She is also a strong leader with her verbal skills and with her actions. This year she has taken on the role of being the leader of our spiritual committee and has excelled in this area. She has a strong passion for Christ and shows it very well to her teammates. Thank you Claire for your leadership in our program and passion you bring to Northwestern volleyball."
Jada Vander Veen-played in 6 matches, 7 games: 4 kills and 3 blocks
Coach Van Den Bosch states: "Jada has been an incredible blessing to our program over the last four years. She has played a couple of different positions on the court and helped lead our JV last season to the conference title. Jada is also very gifted in developing relationships. She helped lead our weave group this year which helped develop relationships within the program. She has done an amazing job of making everyone better in our program by how hard she practices and her ability to make everyone comfortable. Thank you Jada for your passion for Northwestern volleyball and the servant leadership that you bring to our team!”
Up Next...Northwestern heads to Sioux City, Iowa, to play Briar Cliff on Wednesday night at 7:30pm.