Red Raiders Claim GPAC Regular Season Title

November 03, 2019 3:45pm

Northwestern College swept both Doane (Friday night) and Hastings (Saturday afternoon) in a pair of conference matches played on the road in this weekend.

With the wins, Northwestern secures the GPAC regular season title, its first outright championship since the 2014 season (the Red Raiders shared the title in 2017). The Red Raiders have now claimed seven GPAC regular season championships, all under Head Coach Kyle Van Den Bosch. (the GPAC began in 2000)

Northwestern remains undefeated this season, improving to 15-0 in the conference, 27-0 overall.

    Friday night's win vs Doane

Individual set scores: 25-22, 25-16, 25-19

Northwestern hit .320 for the match and had a higher attack percentage than in Doane in all three sets

The Red Raiders also had the advantage in blocks (9-3) and aces (4-2). 

Coach Van Den Bosch's squad found themselves down by as much as six (15-9) in the first set; kills by Emily Van Ginkel and Makenzie Fink led to a 5-0 run to bring Northwestern back within one. The Red Raiders tied it at 18 and went ahead for good on a kill from Anna Wedel (21-20) as they closed with a 5-2 surge to win 25-22.

Northwestern scored 10 of the final 12 points to break open a close second set, winning 25-16. The Red Raiders held Doane to its lowest kill efficiency of the match (.114) and closed the set with consecutive kills by Bekah Horstman and Wedel. 

The Red Raiders used a 6-2 run early in the final set to get control; Doane kept it close, getting to within three (19-16) but kills by Wedel (2) and Van Ginkel (1) stretched the advantage back to six in the end.

Wedel led all players with 18 kills and totaled 11 digs; the junior hit .500 for the match; Fink put down eight kills and hit over .300; Van Ginkel had a big day at net with six kills and five blocks.

Lacey Wacker put up 35 assists

    Saturday's win vs Hastings

    Individual scores: 25-17, 25-20, 25-13

The Red Raiders hit .420 for the match; the seventh time this season they hit better than .400

Northwestern held the Broncos to .137 hitting percentage; 0% (7 kills, 7 errors) in the final set

Both teams had six blocks; Northwestern had seven aces, two each by Wacker and Emily Strasser

Tied at 10 in the first set, the Red Raiders outscored Hastings 6-1 to force a timeout; Northwestern eventually led by nine (23-14) and went on to win 25-17

Knotted at four in set two, Northwestern went ahead for good with a 7-0 run, behind a couple of aces from Strasser and kills by Horstman, Kacmarynski (2) and Fink

Hastings made it close, cutting the lead down to three late, but Wacker finished the Broncos off with a kill on set point, winning 25-20

Set three was all Northwestern, hitting .560 (16 kills, 2 errors in 25 attempts) and limiting Hastings to 0% (7 kills, 7 errors). 

Wedel (14 kills) and Fink (11 kills) were among the top attackers while both Van Ginkel and Kacmarynski totaled seven kills each

Wacker totaled 34 assists and nine digs; Strasser added 14 digs

Up Next...Northwestern closes the regular season at home against Concordia on Wednesday night, Nov. 6. 

Of Note...The Red Raiders also won the GPAC regular season title in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 and shared the title in 2017.