Dordt College Tourney
Game Time...Northwestern is set to face Midland in a GPAC volleyball match-up of top-ranked teams on Saturday, Nov. 2. The JV match is set to start at noon, followed by the varsity at 1:30pm. Northwestern is currently ranked fifth in the NAIA coaches' poll and has won 29 straight matches heading into Saturday. They are 14-0 in conference play, 30-1 overall. Midland is ranked sixth in the current NAIA coaches' poll with a 12-2 GPAC mark, 30-2 overall. Watch the match live via the Midland webcast at the following link: Watch Now!
All-Time...Northwestern snapped its three-match losing streak to the Warriors with a five-set win earlier this year. Last year, Midland went 2-0 against Northwestern, including a 3-0 win in the GPAC quarterfinals. The Red Raiders lead the all-time series, however, 42-8 and are 7-3 over the last 10 matches.
Last Time vs Midland...Northwestern won a five-set thriller over Midland in a match-up of ranked teams played on Oct. 5 in Orange City, Iowa. After stumbling in the first set 25-18, Northwestern won the next two sets, 29-27 and 25-23, to take a 2-1 lead. The Warriors forced the match into a final set with a 25-18 win in the fourth. Northwestern went on two separate 3-0 scoring runs in the final set, earning the final three points to win 15-10.
Northwestern hit .256 for the match, totaling 65 kills in 176 attempts while committing just 20 errors. Karlie Schut led the way with 18 kills, followed by Kaitlin Floerchinger with 17 and Haley Chambers who put down a career-high 15 kills. Brooke Fessler lofted up 47 assists and nine digs while putting down four kills. Alexis Bart led the backrow with 22 digs while Northwestern totaled 10 blocks, led by Kellie Goedken with 2.5.
Midland hit .250 for the match, putting down 71 kills in 188 attempts. Ashley Wheeler totaled a match-high 20 kills and four aces while Mackenzie Scheef added 18 kills. Megan Farley lofted up 65 assists.
Midland News and Notes...The Warriors moved up to sixth in this week's NAIA coaches' poll, up one spot from seventh where they had been for the last three weeks. Midland has won seven straight matches since losing to Northwestern and is 12-2 in the GPAC, 30-2 overall. They are tied with Northwestern for the sixth most wins in the NAIA.
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 is one of the top hitting teams in the GPAC, averaging a league best 13.8 kills per set while hitting .247 as a team, third best in the conference.
Senior Mackenzie Scheef and junior Ashley Wheelr are the top hitters for the Warriors, averaging 3.1 kills per set. Scheef is second in the GPAC in hitting percentage (.329) and is third on the team with 65 blocks. Wheeler leads the team with 27 ace serves. Junior Heather Pribyl returns playing opposite Scheef in the middle and leads the team with 109 blocks while averaging 2.2 kills per set. Freshman KC Heimann averages 2.9 kills and hits .252. 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 were fifth this week's NAIA coaches' poll, a spot held for the fourth straight week. Northwestern has won 29 straight matches and is tied with Midland for the sixth-most wins in the NAIA at 30-1. They lead the GPAC with a 14-0 record and own a two-match lead over Midland with two matches left to go in the regular season.
The Red Raiders are fifth in the NAIA with a .283 hitting percentage, averaging 13.2 kills per set. They rank second in the conference in both aces (189) and blocks per set (2.2).
Both Karlie Schut and Kaitlin Floerchinger rank among the GPAC's top five with 3.8 kills per set. Schut has posted double figures in all but two matches this season and ranks eighth in the GPAC with a .280 hitting percentage. Floerchinger is hitting .235 and leads the GPAC with 63 ace serves. Haley Chambers is 10th in the league with a .274 hitting percentage, averaging just over two kills per set. Kellie Goedken averages two kills per set and ranks fourth in the GPAC with one block per set. Payton Samuelson averages 1.2 kills and nearly one block per set. Brooke Fessler directs the Red Raiders offense, lofting up 10.6 assists per set while averaging 2.5 digs per set. Alexis Bart is fifth in the league with 4.3 digs per set and Nicole Jacobs averages 1.6 digs per set.
Up Next...Northwestern hosts 18th-ranked Dordt College on Wednesday night, Nov. 6, in the final game of the regular season for both teams.