After a five-set battle with Dordt that ended in a loss earlier in the year, the Northwestern volleyball team picked up a retribution win on Thursday night.
The match went the full five sets, and the Raiders prevailed 3-2 (27-29, 25-21, 23-25, 25-16, 15-7).
Game one set the tone for what was to come, as the Defenders had to work all the way to 29 points to win.
The Raiders avoided a potentially crippling 2-0 deficit by sticking to their game plan and executing to win the second set. They forced 13 hitting errors by the Defenders.
“We knew that we needed to get our blocks up on their best hitters,” sophomore middle hitter Emily Horstman said. “We knew from their last loss they had holes at middle back, so we hit at that weakness. ”
Down 21-19, NW ripped off six straight points, including two serving aces by senior Heather Goehring, to even the match up at one game apiece.
The crucial third set was tightly-contested, but the game and momentum went to the home team after a monster, game-winning kill.
Dordt could not close out the win in game four due to the prolific hitting of NW. As a squad, the Raiders hit .400 and earned 16 kills, a game-high.
Dordt was on its heels for the majority of the final set. After starting up 2-0, they managed only two kills compared to NW’s eight as the Raiders rolled to a win.
Sophomore hitter Kaitlin Floerchinger led all players with 17 kills.
Other hitters in double digits were seniors Goehring and Jaci Moret, as well as freshman Karlie Schut.
Junior defensive specialist Nicole Jacobs, sophomore libero Alexis Bart, Floerchinger and Moret all had double-digit digs for the Raiders.
Floerchinger and freshman setter Madeline Hanno combined for 46 assists in running the offense.
The Defenders finished with a hitting percentage of only .070.
“It’s good to get a win in a loud atmosphere like Dordt’s gym,” Horstman said. “We’re learning how to close out tight games and finish a win.”
On Tuesday night, the Raiders didn’t perform at their highest level, but escaped with a 3-1 (25-14, 25-22, 23-25, 25-17) win against Mount Marty.
Floerchinger lead all players in kills with 13. She also had 14 assists. Junior Megan Hutson threw down 10 kills from the middle hitter position. Schut and Moret added nine kills each.
Schut also had six ace serves from behind the line.
Bart had 15 digs to lead the NW back row.
Saturday afternoon saw the Raiders fight till the final point against national No. 6 and GPAC leader Hastings. Despite their efforts, NW fell 3-2 (26-24, 25-16, 23-25, 25-23, 14-16).
14 service errors throughout the match proved to be the downfall of NW, who had trouble continuing rallies.
Floerchinger was once again the main offensive weapon for NW. She tied a career high with 17 kills.
Moret had 13 kills, and also was the most efficent front row player. She hit .414 on the match.
Schut and Hutson also both had double-digit kills.
Hanno directed the Raiders with 25 assists.
Bart lead the match with 31 digs. Floerchinger and Moret added 11 each as well.
The Raiders will play their final regular season match at 3 p.m. tomorrow in Seward, Neb., against Concordia.
They will start GPAC tournament action next week, where they are guaranteed the number five seed, and will be on the road for their first game.