Red Raiders Open Season Seventh In NAIA Preseason Poll, Dordt 2nd

August 15, 2018

Northwestern 200x200

Northwestern College opens the 2018 season ranked seventh in the NAIA Women’s Volleyball Coaches’ Preseason poll released by the national office earlier this afternoon.

The Red Raiders totaled 296 points, tied with College of Idaho, and just two in back of No.6 Westmont (Calif.) for seventh in the initial poll. Northwestern is one of six teams from the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) in the top 25. Dordt (2), Hastings (10), Midland (11), Doane (18) and the University of Jamestown (25). A seventh conference team, Morningside, received votes.

Defending champion Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) is the preseason No.1, earning 11 of the 14 possible first place votes. The Blue Raiders capped the 2017 season with a perfect 35-0 record and a four-set win over Dordt in the title match.

Northwestern finished the 2017 season with a 30-6 overall record, reaching the round of 16 at the NAIA National Championship before losing to Westmont (Calif.). Kyle Van Den Bosch begins his 14th season as the Red Raiders head coach and returns six starters and seven letter winners from the 2017 season. Two All-Americans, A.J Horstman and Anna Kiel, along with all-conference players, Lauryn Hilger, Lacey Wacker and Mackenzie Fink, are back, along with starting middle hitter Josie Blankespoor.

The Red Raiders begin fall camp on August 11 and open the regular season at home on August 23 against 19th-ranked Corban (Ore.).

2018 Women’s Volleyball Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll – (Aug. 14)

RANK LAST WEEK SCHOOL [1st Place Votes] RECORD POINTS
1 1 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) [11] 35-0 371
2 2 Dordt (Iowa) [3] 34-8 364
3 4 Missouri Baptist 34-9 345
4 3 Viterbo (Wis.) 40-2 341
5 6 Park (Mo.) 32-4 328
6 5 Westmont (Calif.) 36-4 298
7 11 Northwestern (Iowa) 30-6 296
7 7 College of Idaho 28-7 296
9 10 Grand View (Iowa) 34-8 281
10 9 Hastings (Neb.) 28-3 277
11 13 Midland (Neb.) 21-11 248
12 14 Montana Tech 25-10 238
13 NR Southern Oregon 15-11 214
14 18 Columbia (Mo.) 34-8 205
15 12 Eastern Oregon 24-11 193
16 17 Cornerstone (Mich.) 28-8 181
17 20 Georgetown (Ky.) 22-6 175
18 RV Doane (Neb.) 17-12 167
19 8 Corban (Ore.) 27-9 156
20 24 Madonna (Mich.) 29-7 130
21 19 Bellevue (Neb.) 30-13 123
22 22 Indiana Wesleyan 29-12 104
23 RV Ottawa (Kan.) 30-13 103
24 21 Northwest (Wash.) 24-10 95
25 15 Jamestown (N.D.) 23-10 90

Others receiving votes: Embry-Riddle 88, Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 77, Campbellsville (Ky.) 44, Saint Xavier (Ill.) 37, Marian (Ind.) 27, Morningside 18, Kansas Wesleyan 11, William Woods (Mo.) 6, Reinhardt (Ga.) 5, Aquinas (Mich.) 4, Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) 4, Mobile (Ala.) 4, Trinity Christian (Ill.) 3, Vanguard (Calif.) 3, Lourdes (Ohio) 3