The 2020 (and 2021) season comes to an end for the No.5 Northwestern College volleyball team as they lost to No.13 Midland 3-1 (25-18, 15-25, 25-20, 25-17) in the quarterfinals of the NAIA National Championship played tonight at the Tyson Events Center.
The Raiders end the season with a 22-5 record.
Set One: 25-18 Midland
Both teams went on impressive runs at the start of the first set; Midland scored the first six points behind the serving of Kaitlynn Simon but Northwestern countered with 3-0 and 4-0 runs, fueled by two kills by A.J. Kacmarynski and Bekah Horstman to tie the set 7-7. From there, the teams traded points, until, with the Raiders trailing by two (19-17), Midland scored six of the final seven points for a 25-18 win.
Set Two: 25-15 Northwestern
Three consecutive kills from Horstman, coupled with the strong serving by Fink, put Northwestern in front 7-3 early in set two, a lead that the Raiders would hold for the duration of the second frame. With Northwestern leading by three (16-13), Bri Kleinwolterink served six consecutive points to give the Raiders a commanding 23-13 lead as the Raiders tied the match 1-1.
Set Three: 25-20 Midland
Set three, the closest of the four frames, featured 13 ties and four lead changes; with Northwestern up 14-13, Midland went ahead for good with a 5-0 run and forced the Raiders into a timeout. Two kills by Fink, coupled with a block by Fink and Emily Van Ginkel, brought Northwestern within one (19-18) but Midland finished with a 6-2 run to take a 2-1 set lead.
Set Four: 25-17 Midland
Unlike set three in which the teams traded points throughout, the final set featured extended runs put in by both teams. Midland opened with a 5-1 run but an ace from Emily Strasser and blocks by Fink, Van Ginkel and Horstman tied the set at five. Wedel put away two kills and Van Ginkel added a pair of blocks to spark a 5-0 surge, behind the serving of Jadeyn Schutt, to put Nortwestern up 13-10. Midland responded with the next three points, tying the set at 13, and the score was tied three more times, the final at 17. Midland clinched the set and match by scoring the final eight points, seven served by Taliyah Flores, to put the Warriors into the semifinals.
By the Numbers….
Northwestern hit 19% compared to 25% by Midland
Northwestern had the advantage in blocks (11-8) and aces (5-4) while Midland had the edge in digs (79-69)
the Raiders had a higher hitting percentage in just one set (set two)
Kacmarynski put away eight kills and Van Ginkel totaled five kills and eight assisted blocks
Lacey Reitz put up 39 assists, nine digs
Emily Strasser led the backrow with 19 digs
Midland was led by Maggie Hiatt with 19 kills, hitting .439 for the match
Taliyah Flores turned in a double-double with 15 kills and 18 digs
Five Raider seniors, Makenzie Fink, A.J. Kacmarynski, Lacey Reitz, Emily Van Ginkel and Anna Wedel, played their final match.