On Saturday, October 29, the No. 6 Northwestern College Raider volleyball team faced off against the No. 22 Dordt University Defenders for their second-to-last game of the regular season.
Due to NW and Dordt’s long history of sports rivalry, the stands were packed with students, family and friends of the volleyball players and community members, creating a fun, loud and competitive atmosphere.
“It just makes the game 10 times more fun when you know you have a supportive fanbase that always cheers you on…I think the Dordt game was one of the most fun atmospheres I have ever competed in,” said freshman Liv Reitsma. The setter tallied 30 assists in the thrilling game.
“Our team played a great match against Dordt,” said head coach Kyle Van Den Bosch. Van Den Bosch explained that each player performed their role very well, which resulted in NW’s sweep over Dordt.
The stats support Van Den Bosch’s assessment of NW’s three straight set victory over Dordt (25-15, 25-19, 25-21). Among other highlights – including Jaidyn Teske’s kick save in the 3rd set are NW’s 39 kills, 8 blocks, 7 aces, 35 assists and 56 digs. NW’s team had more kills, blocks, aces, assists and digs, and fewer errors than Dordt, resulting in their 20th win.
Sophomore Alysen Dexter and Senior Bekah Horstman teamed up in the first set and claimed five and three kills, respectively. The second set proved more productive despite a hesitant beginning. Jazlin De Haan put an end to Dordt’s efforts with a brutal block, allowing the Raiders to climb to an 18-15 lead.
A nerve-wracking final set oscillated between Dordt momentum and NWC defense. Freshman Jaidyn Teske uses a kick save to propel the Raiders into a creative finale.
With their regular season wrapped up with a win against Briar Cliff, the team prepares for Nationals, which will take place on Saturday. The Raiders are ranked No. 8 in the NAIA heading into the tournament.
The NW volleyball team has had a great regular season this year, and Coach Van Den Bosch believes the team’s best volleyball is still to be seen at Nationals.