The Northwestern women’s volleyball team came out on top in a crucial GPAC matchup against Morningside in the Bultman Center Wednesday night, winning 3-1 (25-18, 14-25, 25-21, 25-19), clinching the fifth seed in the GPAC Tournament – one spot above the Mustangs.
Freshman A.J. Horstman led the Raider attack with 17 kills and a hitting percentage of 0.289 while sophomore Lauryn Hilger added 13 kills. Junior Jessica Jensen and freshman Caley Vink contributed 10 and eight kills, respectively. Senior Jessa Doom tallied an impressive 47 assists on the evening. The Raiders finished the match with a team hitting percentage of 0.240, thanks in part to 0.375 team percentage in the clinching fourth set.
On the defensive side of the net, the Raiders were fueled by senior Jillian Estes’ 20 digs and a block. Other leaders in digs were Doom with eight, Horstman with seven and Hilger with six. Vink also added three blocks to the defensive effort.
In the first set, NW steadily took the lead and used a 5-0 rally to put the set out of reach for the Mustangs. Morningside responded by jumping out to a 7-1 lead in the second set before comfortably seeing it through. The Raiders responded with a dominant set of their own, never relenting the lead en route to a third set victory. The fourth set saw eight ties and four lead changes before NW finished on a 5-1 run to claim the match.
The win pushes NW’s season record to 17-16 (9-6 in the GPAC) and sees them stay above Morningside in the GPAC standings at fifth place. The Raiders close out the regular season at home this Saturday against No. 15 Doane before beginning post-season action Nov. 8.