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GPAC Tournament Quarterfinals
Game Time...Northwestern begins a three-match road trip when they play Morningside on Tuesday night in Sioux City, Iowa. The Red Raiders, ranked sixth in the NAIA, have won nine straight matches and are 10-0 in conference play, 23-2 overall. Morningside is in 10th place in the GPAC with a 2-8 record, 15-11 overall. Listen to the match live on via the KSOU broadcast at the following link: Listen Now!
All-Time...Northwestern has won six straight matches against the Mustangs and lead the all-time series 21-10.
Last Time vs Morningside...Northwestern defeated the Mustangs 3-1 in the conference opener for both teams played Sept. 10 in Orange City, Iowa. Individual set scores were 26-24, 19-25, 25-15 and 25-12.
With the match tied at one set, Northwestern hit over .300 over the final two sets while limiting the Mustangs to a negative kill efficiency. Three NWC players posted double figure in kills, led by Kaitlin Floerchinger with 17 kills in 52 attempts. Karlie Schut put down 14 and Payton Samuelson matched her career-high with 12. Jessica Van Beek added a career-best nine kills and 1.5 blocks. Brooke Fessler lofted up 51 assists and served three aces and Alexis Bart totaled 19 digs.
Morningside hit .172 for the match and was led by Gabi French with 10 kills while both Jennifer Buyert and Amanda Woodman with eight kills each.
Scouting Morningside...The Mustangs stand alone in 10th place within the GPAC with a 2-8 record, 1/2 game in back of Mount Marty for the final spot in the eight-team GPAC postseason championship (Nebraska Wesleyan is NCAA D-III in postseason). Morningside is 15-11 overall, 2-6 over its last eight matches. They began the year with a 10-3 record but are 5-8 since their loss to Northwestern on Sept. 10.
Sara Horn is in her fourth season as the Mustangs head coach after serving as the head of the Iowa Central Community College volleyball program two years. Horn was named the GPAC coach of the year after leading Morningside to both the regular and postseason titles after her first year in 2011. Last season, she led the Mustangs to an eighth place finish in the conference with a 4-12 record, 12-17 overall. Six players who played in the regular rotation are back from last year.
Morningside is seventh in the GPAC in both kills per set (12.3) and kill efficiency (.193) while ranking sixth in blocks (1.9). They are third in ace serves with 170.
Gabi French leads the Mustangs with 3.1 kills per set, ranking seventh in the conference. The junior is hitting .143 at the pins and averages 2.3 digs per set. Senior Kecia Verburg leads the GPAC with a .315 kill efficiency, averaging 2.4 kills and nearly one block per set. Jennifer Buyert leads the Mustangs with 91 blocks playing opposite Verburg in the middle. TyAnn Buddenhagen shares the setting duties, lofting up 6.8 assists per set, while ranking fourth in the GPAC with 38 aces.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders have won nine straight matches and are in first place in the GPAC with a 10-0 league record, 23-2 overall. They have a full two-match lead over second place Midland with six matches left in the regular season. Northwestern's losses are to #4 Park and #18 Grand View.
Northwestern leads the GPAC in kills (13.5), kill efficiency (.279) and ace serves (179). They are among the NAIA's leaders in all three stat categories as well.
Kaitliin Floerchinger leads the GPAC with 4.1 kills per set, hitting .270 on the outside. The senior has hit for double figures in 21 of the 24 matches played. Floerchinger also ranks first in the GPAC with 49 ace serves. Karlie Schut averages nearly three kills per set, ranking 10th in the GPAC, and hits .240 on the rightside. Schut is second in the conference with 40 aces and has hit for double figures in 13 matches. Haley Chambers is sixth in the GPAC with a .276 kill efficiency and averages 2.6 kills per set. Brooke Fessler leads the conference in assists per set (11) and hits .409 as the team's setter. Alexis Bart anchors the backrow at 4.7 digs per set.
Up Next...The road trip continues this weekend as the Red Raiders head to Lincoln, Neb. to play Nebraska Wesleyan on Friday night and then to Hastings on Saturday afternoon.
# 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