On Oct. 30, the Northwestern volleyball team who is ranked No. 14 in the Nation, (16-9, 8-7 GPAC) fought a long, hard battle at home against Concordia (13-10, 8-7 GPAC) who is receiving votes to be in the top 25 teams of in the Nation. The Raiders could not secure a win on senior day. NW celebrated and honored three seniors prior to the match, libero, Emily Strasser, middle hitter, Bekah Horstman and defensive specialist, Natalie Engebretson.
Freshman Alysen Dexter got a career high and match leading 26 kills in the five-set match, while also tallying ten digs for the Raiders. Horstman received a total of 16 and junior Oliva Schaub received ten. Junior Jadeyn Schutt totaled 32 assists and sophomore Oliva Gransta tallied 21 assists. Defensively, sophomore Macay Van’t Hul had five blocks while Strasser had a match-high of 26 digs.
NW came into the match ready for their senior day home match, they took care of business as they won the first set against the Bulldogs 25-19. The Raiders jumped out to a 9-4 lead, which prompted Concordia to take their first timeout. The Bulldogs did not give out and would battle back to make the set 17-14. NW was able to hold their lead and stop the Concordia comeback and get a 4-0 rally in their favor to end the first set.
In the second set, there was the most action of the match. Concordia had the early lead with a 7-1 advantage, and was able to be content and coast the rest of the set. After a NW timeout, head coach Kyle Van Ben Bosch’s talk to the team gave the Raiders momentum to get a 6-0 run to eventually tie the match up at 8-8. As the set continued, the Raiders 4-0 run put them in the lead 16-13, however, the Bulldogs would not stop there. Concordia went on a 4-0 spurt that would tie the set back up at 21-21. Then again at 24-24 the Bulldogs would take the set thanks to back-to-back kills ending the set at 26-24.
Despite battling hard and dropping the second set, NW would not let that shake them, as they came out in the third set swinging, winning the third 25-17. With an early 9-4 advantage, it quickly changed to a 9-8 lead after Concordia had a 4-0 run, but three straight NW points firmly gave the needed momentum. The Raiders went on a 4-0 spurt to end the set.
Unfortunately, Concordia would take the fourth set 25-19 which gave them momentum into the fifth where the Bulldogs came out victorious defeating the Raiders 15-8.
NW concluded their regular season play on Nov. 2 with a win in four sets against the Morningside Mustangs. The Raiders prepare for the GPAC women’s volleyball tournament that is set for the first round on Saturday, Nov. 6. The Raiders will be on the road as the No. 5 to Mitchell, SD to play against No. 4 Dakota Wesleyan Tigers.