The Northwestern volleyball team found out the hard way how difficult it is to play catch-up in a first-round tournament match on Tuesday night. Facing No. 25 Midland, NW lost 3-0 (20-25, 19-25, 21-25) to end their season.
The squad finished the season with a 21-10 record.
“We all felt shocked,” said junior defensive specialist Nicole Jacobs. “I know nobody was ready to lose. Everyone was ready to win and keep playing. There weren’t many tears after the loss because it wasn’t real to us.”
The start of the match was a sign of things to come for NW, who gave up a serving ace on the first point and committed an illegal set on the second.
The Raiders looked to stay with the Warriors after gaining the serve at 15-12, but Midland capitalized on NW’s passing mistakes to cruise to game point at 24-15.
The Raiders scrambled to stop the bleeding behind the serving of junior Claire Roesner, but fell 25-20. They had three service errors and were aced three times in the first set alone.
The second set was evenly contested all the way up to a 16-16 tie. The Raiders were working on a three-point run at the time.
A service error from NW catapulted a 9-3 run by Midland to close out the second game and put the Raiders on the brink of elimination going into the locker room.
Just like the first two sets, the Raiders went down early. Midland looked for the knockout punch when they were up 19-13, but NW rallied five points back to make it a game at 19-18.
The Warriors would not be denied on their home court though, and snuffed the rally for the win.
“We didn’t pass well,” Jacobs said. “Our serving wasn’t aggressive and our passing wasn’t where it needed to be. [Midland] did both those things better than us.”
Sophomore hitter Kaitlin Floerchinger had 10 kills and 14 assists for NW. Freshman hitter Karlie Schut added nine kills as well.
Sophomore libero Alexis Bart had 15 digs, and freshman setter Madeline Hanno also had 14 assists.
This concludes the career of seniors Heather Goehring, Danie Floerchinger, Jennie Jansen and Jaci Moret.
“The seniors were our vocal leaders,” Jacobs said. “A lot of people lead in more quiet ways, but the seniors were obviously the leaders for us.”