It’s that time of year: the weather is getting cold, snow is starting to fall and the Northwestern volleyball team is in the National Tournament.
The Raiders won their first three games of pool play, putting up a 3-0 win against Shawnee State, a 3-2 win against Indiana Tech and a 3-0 win against Biola.
Shawnee State came into the game with a 26-game win streak and a 31-3 record. That didn’t last long as NW handled the Bears and won the first game, 25-12. The Raiders didn’t let up in games two or three, winning 25-14 and 25-15.
Junior Hillary Hanno led the team with 14 kills followed by senior Randa Hulstein with ten. Hulstein also added seven digs and nine serves received. Junior Kaitlin Beaver tossed up 42 assists for the Raiders as well.
No. 3 NW moved into the second game of pool play against No. 17 Indiana Tech.
Indiana Tech jumped out to an early lead, winning the first two games 25-15 and 25-19.
The Raiders rallied and won the last three games 25-23, 25-19 and 15-12 to win the match and move to 2-0 in pool play. Indiana Tech moved to 1-1 in pool play on the Tournament.
Hanno had 25 kills, six digs and two blocks in match. Hulstein also put up big numbers, finishing the day with 14 kills, 10 digs and 19 serves received. Sophomore Rylee Hulstein finished with 11 kills, 12 digs and 27 serves received. Beaver dominated the match with 54 assists, moving her total to 96 in the National Tournament.
NW finished out pool play against Biola on Thursday, Dec. 3. The Raiders won the match, 3-0, moving the record to 3-0 in pool play of the National Tournament.
Biola entered the game with a 22-9 record and ranked No. 17 nationally.
The Raiders held on to win a close first game, 28-26. They then followed it up with a big win, 25-20. In the third game, NW put away Biola with a 25-16 victory.
They will now move into the elimination portion of the tournament, where NW will take on the winner of the sixth-seed Lee v. the eleventh-seed Taylor on Friday, Dec. 4, at 8 p.m.