Game Time...Sixth-ranked Northwestern plays host to Concordia in a GPAC match-up on Friday night, Sept. 26. First serve of the varsity match will be at 7:30pm. Northwestern is in first place in the GPAC with a 4-0 record, 17-2 overall, while Concordia is tied with Dordt for third place in the GPAC at 3-1, 11-4 overall. Watch/listen live to the match via the NWC webcast at the following link: Watch/Listen Now!
All-Time...Northwestern has won 11 straight matches against Concordia and leads the all-time series 34-6.
Scouting Concordia...The Bulldogs are in a tie for third place within the GPAC with a 3-1 league record, 11-4 overall. They have won five straight matches since dropping its GPAC opener to Midland on Sept. 10. During its win streak, Concordia has defeated Peru State, Friends, Doane, Mount Marty and #18 Hastings.
Scott Mattera is in his third season serving as the Bulldogs head coach after successful stints as an assistant both at Montreat College (N.C.) and Toledo. Mattera returns all of his starters and rotation players off a 2013 team that finished eighth in the GPAC with a 5-11 record, 17-14 overall. They were picked to finish seventh in the GPAC preseason poll.
Concordia is third in the GPAC in both hitting percentage (.229) and kills (12.87) while ranking seventh in the league in blocks (1.8). Junior Claire White is the top hitter for the Bulldogs, ranking seventh in the GPAC at 3.1 kills per set. White was an all-conference pick last year, her first season at Concordia after transferring from Washburn. Senior middle hitter Mariah Schamp was a second team all-GPAC pick last year and is putting down 1.8 kills per set to go with 34 blocks. Sophomore Taylor Workman is hitting .391 and leads the team with 35 blocks. Alayna Kavanaugh is fourth in the GPAC in assists (9.9) and is the reigning setter of the week in the conference. Carli Smith returns as the team's libero after earning all-conference honors last year. She is averaging 3.4 digs per set and has 10 ace serves.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders have won three straight matches and are in first place in the GPAC with a 4-0 record. They are 17-2 overall and lead a group of four teams from the GPAC that are ranked in the top 25 in the Sept. 23 poll. Northwestern, ranked sixth in the latest poll, is 7-2 against ranked teams.
Northwestern leads the GPAC in both kills (13.4), kill efficiency (.278), assists (11.1) and aces (144). Kaitlin Floerchinger leads the conference with 4.1 kills per set, hitting .264 as one of the team's outside hitters. The senior leads the NAIA with 43 ace serves and needs just one more ace to tie Julie (Westenberg) Pickard for second all-time with 220 career aces. Haley Chambers is seventh in the GPAC with a .272 kill efficiency and has hit for double figures in nine matches. Karlie Schut puts down 2.8 kills per set and is 10th in the NAIA with 32 ace serves. Payton Samuelson (61) and Jessica Van Beek (43) lead the team in blocks. Brooke Fessler is fifth in the NAIA with 11.1 assists and is hitting nearly .500 as the team's setter. Fessler also averages over two digs per set and has 21 blocks. Alexis Bart, the career leader in digs at Northwestern, ranks third in the GPAC at 4.8 digs per set.
Up Next...Northwestern will host Dakota Wesleyan on Tuesday night, Sept. 30, at 6/7:30pm.
# 4 | Outside Hitter
Senior from Treynor, Iowa
# 10 | Defensive Specialist
Senior from Sheldon, Iowa
# 3 | Rightside Hitter
Junior from West Des Moines, Iowa
# 19 | Outside Hitter
Junior from Sioux Falls, S.D.
# 13 | Middle Hitter
Junior from Gretna, Neb.
# 8 | Setter
Junior from Pella, Iowa
# 6 | Outside HItter
Freshman from Sheldon, Iowa