The No. 6 NAIA Northwestern volleyball team claimed a victory over Briar Cliff this Wednesday in four sets with scores of 17-25, 25-20, 25-17 and 25-21. The Raiders extended their win streak to 14 with an overall record of 27-2. With the win, NW clinched its second straight GPAC regular season title with a 14-0 record. The Raiders have won the GPAC title for the fifth time in the last seven years.
NW faced a 16-8 deficit in the first set before the Raiders rallied to bring the score within four at 20-16. However, the visiting Chargers held on and scored the five of the final six points.
In set two, senior outside hitter Kaitlin Floerchinger recorded back-to-back aces, which helped give NW seven consecutive points after being tied at nine.
The Raiders came out strong in the third set with a 17-11 lead. Junior rightside hitter Haley Chambers gave the home team a boost with back-to-back kills to propel NW to a 2-1 set advantage.
Briar Cliff got the early edge in the fourth set with a 10-6 lead and forced a NW timeout. After being tied at 13, Briar Cliff rode momentum again to a 18-15 advantage. The teams exchanged blows before being tied at 20. Junior rightside hitter Karlie Schut and junior middle hitter Payton Samuelson each had two kills to give NW the final victory.
Floerchinger and Chambers each had 14 kills for NW. Schut recorded 10 kills. Samuelson notched a team-high 3.5 blocks and also had five kills. Junior setter Brooke Fessler lofted up 41 assists and had two aces. Senior defensive specialist Alexis Bart and Floerchinger recorded 19 and 14 digs respectively.
NW will host Midland on Saturday, Nov. 1. The first set will begin at 3 p.m.