Orange City, Iowa — Bekah Horstman put away a season-high 13 kills in leading No.5 Northwestern to a four-set win (25-22, 25-22, 18-25, 25-23) against 10th-ranked Concordia in the GPAC semifinals played tonight at the Bultman Center. Northwestern advances to play in the GPAC Championship match on Saturday, April 10 where they will be paired against top-seed and No.1 Jamestown.
Northwestern improves its record to 19-3 this season and earned its second victory against the Bulldogs, both by 3-1 scores. Concordia moves to 15-4 on the season.
Horstman hit .545 for the match, making just one error in 22 attack attempts, en route to 13 kills and seven blocks in the middle of the Raider offensive attack. Joining her in double figures were Emily Van Ginkel, who smashed down 11 kills and hit nearly .500, A.J. Kacmarynski (11) and Anna Wedel (10).
Set One: 25-22 win
Down by four (15-11), a run of three straight points, finished off by a kill from Kacmarynski, put Northwestern back to within one. Still trailing by two (18-16), the Raiders went ahead for good with a 5-0 run, behind the strong serving by Emilly Strasser coupled with the blocking by Horstman and Lacey Reitz, and finished off by a kill from Wedel. Northwestern traded points with the Bulldogs from there to win the first set
Set Two: 25-22 win
Northwestern outscored the Bulldogs 7-1 for an early 13-7 advantage; Wedel put away two kills, Van Ginkel one and Fink added a block during the run. Concordia responded with the next four points, making it a one-point Raider lead (13-12); but the hosts never let the Bulldogs tie it. The Raiders capitalized on errors by Concordia to go up by three (19-16) and led by by four (24-20 following a kill by Horstman. The Bulldogs scored consecutive points making it 24-22 but missed a serve on the third set point, giving Northwestern the win
Set Three: 25-18 loss
A double block by Wedel and Van Ginkel gave Northwestern its final lead of set three, 8-7. Concordia scored six of the next seven points, however, on kills by Camryn Opfer and blocks from Kalee Wiltfong. Another 3-0 run gave the Bulldogs a commanding 17-11 lead, a lead that Northwestern could not overcome
Set Four: 25-23 win
Six lead changes and 15 ties highlighted a close fourth set; the largest lead for either team in the final set was two. Down by one (21-20), Northwestern put together three consecutive points on kills from Horstman and Kacmarynski and error by Concordia. The Bulldogs rallied to tie the set for the final time at 23-23, getting a kill by Opfer. A missed serve by Concordia set up match point, which Wedel secured with a block
By the Numbers:
Northwestern hit 26% compared to 19% by Concordia; the Raiders hit better than the visitors in three of the four sets. The Raiders had the advantage in blocks (15-7). Lacey Reitz put up 48 assists to go with 10 digs; her eighth double-double of the season. Olivia Granstra led the backrow play with 11 digs.
Concordia was led by Kara Stark with 13 kills while Opfer and Gabi Nordaker contributed 12 kills each