Northwestern Volleyball Takes Down Clarke and Briar Cliff at Charger Invite

August 29, 2021 11:46am

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Northwestern College volleyball team swept the day, defeating Clarke (3-0) and Briar Cliff (3-1), to wrap up the Charger Invite to open the 2021 season as No. 8-ranked Northwestern improves to 3-0 on the season.

The sweep over Clarke secured head coach Kyle Van Den Bosch's name in the NWC record books as he became the winningest coach in volleyball program history this afternoon inside the Newman Flanagan Center on the campus of Briar Cliff University. Van Den Bosch surpasses his predecessor Mike Meyer in wins, continuing the long tradition of excellence of honoring Christ and excelling on the court for the Northwestern volleyball program.

"I have a ton of respect for Coach Mike Meyer and the volleyball program he established here at Northwestern College. A milestone like this means a lot when you reflect and think about all the people along the way that have shared in this Raider journey. I think about how God weaved so many lives together through the Red Raider volleyball program," said Van Den Bosch. "I am thankful for my wife, Dawn for being my rock in this journey and my biggest supporter along with my two kids, Jackson and Aubrey. I have also appreciated my assistant coaches for their loyalty and ownership in the program as well. There have been a few assistant coaches along the way, but Wayne Westenberg has been with me 16 years and LeeAnne McMillen helped me for 13 years."

About his teams and athletes he has coached over the years, Van Den Bosch notes, "Our players are such quality Christian young women to coach and I have enjoyed the relationships that have been built over the years. They have taken great pride in being teammates that give God the glory and love representing Northwestern College."

(8) Northwestern 3, Clarke 0 (25-9, 25-17, 25-14)

The Raiders picked up right where they left off last night, en route to a 25-9 first set victory over the Pride of Clarke University. With a slight 6-5 lead early in the set, Northwestern pulled off seven straight points to take command of the set, and the match. 12 of the 25 Raider first set points came by way of Clarke attacking errors, for which the Raiders never looked back.

It was underclassmen showing for Northwestern against the Pride this afternoon. Freshman Alysen Dexter (Urbandale, Iowa/Des Moines Christian) tallied 10 kills, followed by sophomore Macay Van't Hul (Rock Valley, Iowa/Western Christian) who had eight kills. Fellow sophomore Olivia Granstra (Sheldon, Iowa/Western Christian) dished out assists all match long, ending the contest with a team-high 12 assists. Freshman Emmy Wedgbury (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Cedar Falls) led the team with six digs, Dexter right behind her with five. As a team, Northwestern tallied 34 kills with a .364 attacking percentage.

(8) Northwestern 3, Briar Cliff 1 (25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 25-17)

In the nightcap, the Chargers gave the Raiders their first test of the season wanting to defend their own home floor. It was a bend but don't break mentality for the Raiders who pulled out the 3-1 win, despite dropping their first set of the season.

In the second set, the Raiders were on the ropes down 20-17 before going on an 8-2 run to take the set from the Chargers 25-22.

Two Raiders had double-digit kills as Dexter again led the team with 14 kills and Savonne Sterk (So., Lynden, Wash./Lynden) right behind Dexter with 12 kills to her name.

Jadeyn Schutt (Jr., Orange City, Iowa/MOC-Floyd Valley) and Granstra consistently set up the Raider attack, tallying 29 and 15 assists, respectively.

Three Raiders collected double-digit digs in the victorious effort for the Raiders. Senior Emily Strasser (Sioux Falls, S.D./Sioux Falls Christian) led the team with 18 digs, Schutt tallied 15, and Dexter had 10 digs.

Up Next: Northwestern will continue their road trip next Wednesday, September 1 when the Raiders travel back to Sioux City to begin Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) play against the Mustangs of Morningside College.