Raiders Down Unbeaten Concordia In Four Sets

Northwestern College handed Concordia its first loss of the season with a 3-1 (25-21, 25-21, 20-25, 25-22) victory in a conference match played this afternoon in Seward, Neb. The Raiders have won two straight and improve to 4-1 in the GPAC, 6-1 overall. Concordia drops to 5-1 in the GPAC and overall.

The match featured two of the best hitting teams in the NAIA and it was the Raiders who dominated play on both sides of the net. Northwestern hit 24% compared to 8% by Concordia; the Raiders had a 10-7 advantage in blocks.

Anna Wedel put down a match-high 19 kills and added 12 digs for another double-double. Emily Van Ginkel continued her strong season with 11 kills and four blocks while A.J. Kacmarynske totaled a season-best 11 kills, hitting .286 on the outside. Lacey Reitz orchestrated the Raider offense, putting up 42 assists to go with 12 digs.

Set One: 25-21 win

Northwestern established momentum early in the first set with an 8-1 run, finished off with back-to-back kills from Kacmarynski and a hitting error against Concordia, that gave the Raiders a 10-3 lead. The host Bulldogs slowly came back and made it a one-point game (21-20) after a kill from Kalee Wiltfong and ace serve by Tara Callahan. Consecutive kill by Wedel, however, gave Northwestern the momentum back and they closed with a 4-1 run to win set one, 25-21.

Set Two: 25-21 win

Just like in the first set, Northwestern never trailed in the second set, although they did not get out to a big early lead. Leading 8-7, Northwestern was able to slowly pull away, building its lead up to five (16-11) on a double block by Van Ginkel and Makenzie Fink. Following a Bulldogs timeout, the hosts came back late once again, cutting the lead down to two (21-19) but kills from Wedel and Kacmarynski secured the Raider win, 25-21.

Set Three: 25-20 loss

Concordia scored five of the first six points and held its first lead of the match early in set three. Northwestern rallied, tying the set at 7-7 after Fink ended a long rally with a smash off an assist from Reitz. The Bulldogs came back with a 5-0 run and stayed in front by at least three the rest of the way and force a fourth set.

Set Four: 25-22 win

Northwestern managed to surge ahead early in the fourth, taking a 7-4 lead following a kill by Fink. The Raiders slowly extended their lead to as much as 11 (23-12) as Kacmarynski and Van Ginkel put down kills for Head Coach Kyle Van Den Bosch’s squad. Concordia, however, scored the next eight points, forcing Northwestern to use both timeouts, and cut the lead down to 23-20. A kill by Kacmarynski gave the Raiders match point and they won it on an attack error by Concordia.

Emily Strasser led the Raiders backrow with 19 digs and Olivia Granstra accounted for nine. Macay Van’t Hul (4), Fink (6) and Van Ginkel (4) were the top blockers for NWC.

Northwestern will host Briar Cliff on Monday, the first of four home matches next week



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