NWC Volleyball Takes On Bellevue Tonight

Orange City, Iowa — An early season showdown takes place Thursday night as Northwestern hosts Bellevue for its home opener in a varsity-only match on Thursday, Sept. 10. First serve is scheduled for 7pm.

Both teams are regular qualifiers for the NAIA Championship with a combined 17 appearances, including in 2019. The Raiders are 1-0 this season, owning a 3-0 victory over the University of Northwestern (Minn.) last weekend. Bellevue will be making its season debut.

Trish Siedlik has been in charge of the Bellevue Bruins volleyball program since the 2006 season and has accumulated a 411-162 record in her 14 years on the bench. She has guided Bellevue to 12 national tournament appearances, including four straight, and ranks in the top 10 among active NAIA coaches in both win percentage and wins.

Members of the North Star Athletic Conference, Bellevue finished second to Viterbo in the 2019 conference regular season and then lost to Dakota State in the NSAA tournament championship game. They defeated Lincoln (Ill.) in the NAIA Championship Opening Round to advance to the final site, Sioux City, where they went 1-2 in pool play. The Bruins finished the 2019 season at 28-10 and return 11 players, including three All-Americans, from last year.

The Raiders began the 2020 season with a 3-0 sweep against the University of Northwestern (Minn.) in a match played at Dordt in Sioux Center last weekend. Makenzie Fink paced the Raider offense with 11 kills in 19 attacks, hitting .526 for the match. Emily Van Ginkel put down eight kills and hit better than .300 while Anna Wedel added seven kills and five digs. Lacey Reitz directed the Raider offense with 32 assists and was second on the team in digs with eight. Olvia Granstra was tops in the backrow with 11 digs.

Van Den Bosch is in his 15th season as the Raiders head coach, compiling a 429-120 overall record during his time on the bench. Van Den Bosch has led Raider teams to the national tournament 10x, to the national quarterfinals four times and seven regular season titles.

Northwestern returns nine of the 10 players that were part of the regular rotation from a 2019 team that finished 32-2 and won the GPAC regular season title with a 16-0 record. Anna Wedel earned NAIA Player of the Year honors and led the GPAC in hitting percetange (.345). Lacey Reitz, a four-year starter at setter, earned All-American honors and led the NAIA in assists (12.03 / set). Makenzie Fink was an All-American on the right side, hitting better than .300 and putting down over three kills per set. A.J. Kacmarynski, a 2017 All-American and three-time all-conference selection, averaged 2.5 kills per set and hit .220 last year. Bekah Horstman hit .386 and was second on the team in blocks (132), receiving all-conference honors for the second time. Emily Van Ginkel was an all-conference pick for the second time after leading the team in blocks (134). Emily Strasser, a two-time all-conference pick, led the backrow with 4.4 digs per set. Bri Kleinwolterink and Jadeyn Schutt also return in the backrow.