The Dordt Defenders and the Northwestern Red Raiders volleyball teams met in their first match-up of the season on September 6, at the De Witt Gymnasium in Sioux Center.
The Raiders opened up GPAC Conference play with a tough away game against their rivals, who are ranked 14th in the nation. Despite the Raiders’ best efforts, the Defenders were able to pull away and win in three.
The first set was very evenly matched, and NWC held a lead for much of the set. The two teams set even at 24 points apiece, but Dordt won 26-24.
The second two sets were much the same, with Dordt and Northwestern trading blows, but the Defenders pulling away to win it all.
Senior Jessa Doom led the team with 36 assists, and Junior Jessica Jensen, Sophomore Lauryn Hilger, and Freshman A.J. Horstman all recorded 11 kills.
The atmosphere was loud and energetic, with both the home and away sides of the bleachers packed full.
“Playing in an environment like that is always a challenge, not only physically but mentally,” Doom said. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t the outcome we were hoping for but it’s important that we learn from it and focus on our next week of tournament play as well as conference play.”
The two teams will meet again when the Defenders travel to Orange City on September 28.