Orange City, Iowa — No.5 Northwestern College overwhelmed (RV) Trinity Christian in a 3-0 sweep (25-17, 25-14, 25-12) in a NAIA Volleyball Championship Opening Round match played Saturday at the Bultman Center.
The Raiders improve to 20-4 and are one of 24 teams to advance to the final site, the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa, of the NAIA Championship on April 27 – May 1.
Northwestern hit .471 for the match, its second best hitting percentage this season, putting away 37 kills in 70 attempts with only four errors. The Raiders showcased all five of its hitters, led by Makenzie Fink, Emily Van Ginkel and Anna Wedel with eight kills each while Becca Horstman and A.J. Kacmarynski both put down six kills.
Lacey Reitz commanded the Raider offense with 35 assists and Taylor Meyer once again matched her career-high with five aces.
Set One: 25-17 win
Leading by one (9-8), Northwestern began a 5-0 run behind the net play of Van Ginkel and Fink, who combined for three kills and a block during the run. Northwestern maintained at least a five point lead the rest of the way and closed by scoring four of the final six points, getting a kill from Fink on set point to finish off the Trolls
Set Two: 25-14 win
The Raiders turned a 2-2 tie into an 8-4 lead, finished off by a block from Wedel and Van Ginkel. Meyer served four consecutive points and Horstman put down a thundering kill to put Northwestern in front 17-8 and force a Trinity Christian timeout. Northwestern had its largest lead (22-10) following a successful attack by Van Ginkel
More strong serving by Meyer put Northwestern in front at the start of set three. Holding a three-point lead (8-5), the Raiders scored the next four points on a kill from Horstman, a block by Van Ginkel a Trinity error and an ace by Jadeyn Schutt. Wedel finished off the match with her eighth kill on an assist from Reitz.
Olivia Granstra led the backrow play for Northwestern with eight digs.
Trinity Christian ends the season with an 18-9 record; the Trolls were led by Anna Maatman with nine kills.