After losing to Morningside in the GPAC tournament last season, the Northwestern volleyball team was left with a bad taste in its mouth. They were able to take a little bit of vengeance Wednesday night, squeaking by with a 3-2 win over the Mustangs in Orange City.
“I think a lot of us returners had a lot of bitterness after last year’s loss,” said sophomore outside hitter Kaitlin Floerchinger. “I refused personally to let them beat us again.”
Floerchinger led the Raiders with 13 kills, and freshman Madeleine Hanno added 21 assists to the victory, as NW won the first two games, allowed Morningside to tie, then rallied to win the match 25-11, 25-18, 21-15, 18-25, 15-13.
“They are playing well this year,” Floerchinger said. “But we were confident that we were going to go out and beat them.”
Over the weekend, the Raiders participated in the Eagle Invitational in Kansas City, MO. NW swept all four matches without losing a single game, beating Bacone, St. Mary (Kan.), Stephens, and Central Methodist 3-0. NW was dominant, allowing opposing teams to reach 20 points in a game just twice, once by Central Methodist and once by Bacone.
“I definitely feel like it shows we are going in the right direction,” Floerchinger said. “We played exceptionally well, we were confident the whole time, and we had a lot of fun with it which is really important. It was definitely a building block for us.”
Floerchinger led the Raiders in kills with 2.8 per set. Senior Jaci Moret averaged 1.8 kills per set, and sophomore defender Alexis Bart averaged 4.3 digs. Hanno averaged 4.6 assists.
“It comes down to the whole team,” Floerchinger said. “Everybody working together is the best thing we have. Everybody played super well. We were solid all the way around.”
Despite the ease with which the Raiders dispatched their opponents, Floerchinger said that the experience was a good challenge for NW.
“They challenged us in a way that we had to play better so we wouldn’t sink to their level,” Floerchinger said. “It was good in the fact that it disciplined us into staying intense the whole time. We had to keep our intensity the entire game to show ourselves that we could do that, to push ourselves.”
NW’s next home match will take place tonight against GPAC rival Concordia, beginning at 7:30 pm.