Northwestern win opener at NAIA National Volleyball Tournament
Red Raiders advance to play in Sioux City after sweep College of the Ozarks
ORANGE CITY, IA (Dakota News Now) - The No. 1-ranked Northwestern College volleyball team (27-2, 14-2 GPAC) picked up their 23rd sweep of the season, and fourth-straight National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Opening Round sweep, over the College of the Ozarks (21-12) Bobcats to kickoff the 2023 NAIA national tournament inside the Bultman Center.
Filled with a lot of energy, the College of the Ozarks came out with intensity in the first set. The Raiders would find themselves up 6-3 early on, and eventually 13-8. But a 6-0 Bobcat run would give them a 14-13 advantage midway through the set. However, Northwestern responded with a five-point spurt of their own, thanks to a pair of kills and a pair of service aces from Alysen Dexter (Jr., Urbandale, Iowa). The Red Raiders would go on to take seven of the last 10 points of the set to prevail 25-17 and take a 1-0 match lead.
Keeping the gas pedal on to open the second set, notching six-straight points, as per usual this season, the block party took center floor in the second set. The defense for Northwestern was suffocating, holding the Bobcats to a -.250 hitting percentage in the set with six blocks. NWC would then extend their lead up to 10-1 and would keep the pressure on the rest of the set. Leading 16-7 late, the Red Raiders would record nine of the last 10 points to take the commanding 25-8 set victory and a 2-0 match lead.
The Bobcats would continue to show some fight in the third set, though it would prove to be the final set of the day. Trailing 9-5, the Red Raiders used a 9-1 spurt to take control of the set with a 14-10 lead, as the College of the Ozarks used their first time out of the set. Leading 15-13, Northwestern would end the match in a complete dominant fashion, scoring 10-straight points to prevail 25-13. Logan Miller (Fr., Jefferson, S.D.) would be behind the service line for the run, dishing out two service aces. The run also saw four kills from Jazlin De Haan (Jr., Orange City, Iowa) and a pair from Macay Van’t Hul (Jr., Rock Valley, Iowa).
- Northwestern tallies their 23rd sweep of the season, moving into four-way tie in program history for most sweeps in a season.
- The Red Raider defense dominated, holding The Ozarks to a mere .010 hitting percentage.
- As a team, the Red Raiders recorded 12 blocks against the Bobcats.
- Macay Van’t Hul and Savonne Sterk both recorded six blocks to lead the team, while Zavyr Metzger notched five.
- Jazlin De Haan once again led the offense with her 19 kills on a .302 hitting percentage.
- Alysen Dexter was the other Raider in double digits with her 10, while hitting at a clip of .450.
- NWC tallied eight service aces in the victory; led by Dexter with eight and Logan Miller with a pair.
- It marks the fifth time this season Dexter notched 3+ aces, and the 16th time in her Red Raider career.
- She picked up her 50th ace of the season, now at 53 for the season.
- The Red Raiders end the home slate with a 12-2 record at home, winning .857 of their matches inside the Bultman Center this season.
- NWC will head to Sioux City winners of 13-straight matches.
- NWC also picked up their 40th all-time national tournament win today in their 19th national tournament appearance.
- The Red Raiders improve to 4-0 all-time against the College of the Ozarks.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Northwestern will await their NAIA Final Site pairings with Pool Play set to begin on November 29 at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. More information to come in the coming days on nwcraiders.com.
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