Northwestern’s volleyball team moved to 26-0 with their sweep against Doane last Friday, Nov. 1, taming the Tigers to the tune of 25-22, 25-16 and 25-19.
Doane jumped out to a quick start behind some home-crowd energy and .500 hitting, and Coach Van Den Bosch used his only timeout of the night down 6-10 early in the first set. The Raiders found themselves down as much as 9-15 before closing the gap with a 5-point run where they eventually evened the set at 20. A service ace by Lacey Wacker capped off the comeback set for NW, as they would go on to dominate the night. The set win was led by Anna Wedel and Mackenzie Fink with five kills apiece, as the team combined to hit a match-high .344.
The Tigers snatched the first point of the second set, but the Raiders countered with a 3-point burst and would not relinquish the lead. Trailing the rest of the way in a closely contested set, Doane cut the NW lead to 17-16; NW would pull away for good, riding an 8-0 run to a second set victory.
Set three started with the Tigers taking the first point but not intimidating the Raiders. As the energy faded from the home crowd, NW held a comfortable six-point advantage for most of the set and ended the night with that 6-point margin: 25-19.
Statistically, NW dominated Doane, posting an impressive .320 hitting percentage to Doane’s .189, and also finished with just seven errors to the Tigers’ 19. Wacker – leading the NAIA in assists per set – continued dishing them out for the Raiders with 35 on the night; Wedel packed the stat sheet with a team-leading 18 kills and .500 hitting percentage to go along with a team-high 11 digs, giving her 12 double-doubles on the season. She was followed by Fink with eight kills and Emily Van Ginkel with six.
On Saturday, Nov. 2, the Raiders finished up their final game on the GPAC road schedule with a sweep over Hastings, hitting a blistering .420 and holding the Broncos to .137 with no more than 20 points in any set. After defeating the Broncos, NW sat at 27-0.
The Raiders finished their regular season undefeated by defeating Concordia in the Bultman Center on Wednesday, Nov. 6. GPAC tournament play will begin at home on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. with the Raiders looking to add the postseason championship to their regular season title, sitting at No. 1 in the conference and nation.