Northwestern’s volleyball squad still has not lost a game in almost two months. Its 25-1 record has been enough for the program to be ranked No. 5 in the nation. It’s the highest ranking for a Raider team since 2010.
On Tuesday night, the Raiders easily swept Mount Marty aside in three games (25-20, 25-22, 25-20).
Sophomore Karlie Schut led the offensive attack with 16 kills. The Lancers were unable to find an answer for her, and she hit .400. Junior Kaitlin Floerchinger added nine. Freshman Kellie Goedken hit .500 from the middle hitter position and tallied eight kills.
Sophomore setter Brooke Fessler threw up 37 assists and had two ace serves. She also led the squad with 11 digs.
“We had a few of our own mistakes, but we worked through them,” freshman Jillian Estes said. “The team really came together and helped each other out to get the win in three.”
On Oct. 9, NW received a tough effort from visiting Briar Cliff. It took four uneasy games for NW to hold onto a 3-1 (27-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-20) win. The Chargers have not defeated the Raiders since 2005.
“Because we have been doing so well, every team in the conference is going to give us their best shot,” Estes said. “We love winning in three; but a win is a win, and the team had a solid finish.”
Floerchinger had 17 kills and two ace serves. Schut was close behind with 15 kills. Sophomore Haley Chambers also was in double figures (13) for kills and hit .407.
Fessler efficiently directed the offense with 52 assists.
Junior libero Alexis Bart anchored the defense with 15 digs. Floerchinger also collected 15 digs, and Schut popped up 10.
On Oct. 5, NW hosted then-No. 6 Midland in the NAIA Game of the Week. In a battle between the two favorites for the conference title, the Raiders prevailed. It required five hard games (18-25, 29-27, 25-23, 18-25, 15-10) for NW to stay undefeated in the GPAC.
The Warriors came out hot and hit .377 in the first set. By the fourth set, the Raider defense limited Midland to .077. Midland hit zero percent in the final set.
“We knew the Midland game was going to be a huge match for us,” Estes said. “It’s been one of the toughest games we’ve had to play so far. Going into the game, you could feel the excitement in everyone, which ended up helping us quite a bit.”
Schut led the team with 18 kills and two ace serves. Floerchinger was equally potent on the outside and tallied 17 kills.
Chambers put down 15 kills in only 33 attempts. As a team, NW hit .256.
Fessler was not the only Raider to record an assist but was the far away leader with 47.
Bart had 22 digs, and Floerchinger added 16. Senior Nicole Jacobs also helped carry the back row with 10 digs.
NW will play at Doane this Saturday.