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2013 Volleyball National Championship
Dordt College Tourney
Game Time...Northwestern College heads to Fremont, Neb. to play Midland on Saturday, Oct. 4. in a showdown between top 10 teams. Both teams are tied for first in the current GPAC standings with 6-0 records. Northwestern, ranked sixth in the NAIA coaches' poll, has won five straight matches and is 19-2 overall. Midland, ranked 10th in the NAIA, has won 10 straight matches and is 16-3 overall. Listen live to the match via the KSOU broadcast at the following link: Listen Now!
All-Time...Northwestern leads the all-time series 43-10 but is 5-5 over the last 10 match-ups against Midland. Last year, Northwestern went 2-2 against the Warriors, sweeping both regular season matches in five sets. Midland won the GPAC Championship in five sets over NWC and then defeated the Red Raiders 3-1 in the play-in game into the quarterfinals at the NAIA Championship.
Scouting Midland...The 10th-ranked Warriors have rattled off 10 consecutive wins since losing 3-0 to #8 Viterbo (Wis.) on August 30. Midland is a perfect 6-0 in conference play, dropping just three sets in wins over Nebraska Wesleyan, Concordia, Briar Cliff, Dakota Wesleyan, Dordt and Doane. They also have two wins over ranked teams in non-conference play (Vanguard and Davenport). Midland has also lost to College of Idaho and Biola (Calif.).
Paul Giesselman is in his fifth season as the Midland head coach and returns all but two players off a 2013 team that finished second in the GPAC with a 13-3 league record. Giesselman then guided his team to the GPAC postseason title and to its first ever trip to the NAIA Championship where they advanced out of pool play, defeated Northwestern to get to the quarterfinals where they lost to eventual champion Texas at Brownsville. Giesselman, who shared GPAC coach of the year honors with Kyle Van Den Bosch, guided his team to a 37-5 overall record, setting the record for the most wins in a season. They were picked to finish second in the GPAC preseason poll.
Midland ranks fourth in the GPAC in both kills (12.9) and hitting percentage (.222) while leading the conference in blocks (2.4). Senior Megan Farley directs the Warriors offense as the team's setter, lofting up 10 assists per set. Farley, a returning All-American and three-time first team all-GPAC pick, has 14 ace serves. Ashlee Harms returns on the rightside and ranks 10th in the league in both kills (2.9) and hitting percentage (.269). She earned first team all-league honors in 2013. Both outside hitters, Ashley Wheeler and K.C. Heimann, return and were second team all-conference picks last year. Heimann averages 3.2 kills per set and Wheeler puts down 1.3 per set.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders have won five straight matches and own an undefeated, 6-0 record in league play. Ranked sixth in the latest NAIA coaches' poll, Northwestern is 19-2 overall and is 7-2 against teams ranked in the top 25 this season.
Northwestern leads the GPAC in kills (13.4), hitting percentage (.280), assists (12.2) and aces (152) while ranking fourth in the conference in blocks (2.2).
Kaitlin Floerchinger leads the GPAC with 4.1 kills per set and ranks sixth in the NAIA with 43 ace serves. Floerchinger earned GPAC player of the week honors for the second time this season for her play in wins over Dordt and Concordia last week. Karlie Schut puts down 2.9 kills per set and is hitting .222 on the rightside this season. Haley Chambers is sixth in the league with a .276 kill efficiency and averages 2.6 kills per set. Brooke Fessler leads the GPAC in assists (11.1), ranking sixth in the NAIA. Payton Samuleson leads the team with 65 blocks, sixth most in the conference and is hitting over .400 for the season. Alexis Bart, the career digs leader at NWC, averages 4.7 digs per set.
Up Next...Northwestern heads to the road again on Wednesday, Oct. 8 as they play Briar Cliff at 6/7:30pm in Sioux City, Iowa.
# 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.
# 8 | Setter
Junior from Pella, Iowa