Sioux City, Iowa — Second-ranked Northwestern is set to begin play at the 2019 NAIA Volleyball National Championship this week at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. The Red Raiders open against Martin Methodist (Tenn.) in a pool B match-up on Tuesday night around 6:30pm. Matches against #18 Lawrence Tech (Mich.) and #14 Corban (Ore.) follow on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, both at 6pm.
The Red Hawks of Martin Methodst won both the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) regular season and postseason titles, earning one of the two auto bids from the conference into the championship field. They went 12-1 in the conference to finish one game ahead of Bethel (Tenn.) and join William Carey (conference tment runner-up) as the two teams from the SSAC to qualify for the championship. Martin Methodist defeated Milligan (Tenn.) in the opening round 3-1 to earn a spot to the final site. They are 27-8 overall, the most wins in program history, and have won seven straight heading into pool play.
Williams is in her sixth season as the head of the Red Hawks program, earning SSAC Coach of the Year honors this season. She was an assistant at Bryan College (Tenn.) for three years prior to coming to Martin Methodist. Williams returns six starters, nine players from a 2018 team that finished with a 22-12 overall record.Northwestern is making its third straight and 15th overall appearance at the NAIA Volleyball National Championship. They are 27-30 (47%) all-time at the championship and have reached the quarterfinals four times (1992, 2007-09). The Red Raiders have advanced out of pool play a total of eight times, including their last four appearances (2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018). This will be the Red Raiders’ 10th trip to the championship under Head Coach Kyle Van Den Bosch.