September 25, 2021 8:54pm

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SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – In the battle for Sioux County, the No. 9-ranked Northwestern College volleyball team (10-5, 2-3 GPAC) downed arch-rivals the fifth-ranked Dordt Defenders (10-4, 2-3 GPAC) in straight sets to pick up their tenth win of the season behind a match-leading 15 kills from Alysen Dexter (Fr., Urbandale, Iowa/Des Moines Christian).

Jadeyn Schutt (Jr., Orange City, Iowa/MOC-Floyd Valley) was a crucial piece of the Northwestern success this afternoon as she led the team with six aces, 21 assists, and 15 digs to lift the squad over the No. 5-ranked Defenders. Emily Strasser (Sr., Sioux Falls, S.D./Sioux Falls Christian) also contributed 13 digs for the Raider defense that held the Defenders’ to a .168 hitting percentage on the match.

“Everybody did their roles really well,” said head coach Kyle Van Den Bosch. “I thought we were the most aggressive team all afternoon. It was good to come out on top!”

Northwestern claimed a hot .325 hitting percentage to take complete control of the entire match in the first set. The Raiders got out to a fast start in the rivalry match taking an 8-1 first set lead forcing Dordt to take an early time out. Three-straight Defender points followed the time out but it would be the Raiders first to 15, leading 15-9 but the Defenders would put a small 3-1 run together to make it 17-12.

A Dordt dig that would go over would be slammed down by Bekah Horstman (Sr., Pella, Iowa/Pella Christian), followed by a Horstman and Katie Peters (Jr., Le Mars, Iowa/Gehlen Catholic) double block, would propel the Raiders to close out the set, winning 25-18.

Jumping into the second set, Dordt grabbed the first two points, jumping out to a 5-1 lead. A Horstman block on a Dordt over ball stymied the Dordt offensive, allowing the Raiders to come storming back to take a 7-6 lead.

The two squads would then go back and forth as Dordt would take a time out holding onto a 14-13 lead with the Raiders serving out of the break. Another combined Horstman and Peters block would get the Raider fans rocking inside De Witt Gymnasium as it tied the match 16-16. Two straight kills would force Dordt to use their second time out of the set as the Raiders held a 19-17 advantage.

The two teams would find themselves even at 20 as the set drew to its conclusion. Northwestern would push through to take a 2-0 set lead thanks to hard swings and blocks at the net, taking a close second set 25-23.

The Defenders came out fast again in set three, taking a 4-0 lead, before Northwestern took three straight points of their own. The two teams would find themselves squared up at 7-7. It would be the Raiders, yet again, stealing the momentum taking a 13-10 lead as Dordt would take a time out.

The rest of the set would be all Northwestern as the Raiders would go on two separate 3-0 spurts to take the wind out of the Defenders’ sails. Schutt would tally three huge service aces in the decisive third set to secure the Northwestern sweep.

Both Dexter and Horstman tallied 10+ kills with Dexter’s 15 and Horstman’s 11. Dexter nor has 10+ kills in eleven matches this year for the Raiders and Horstman makes it five matches on the season with the accomplishment.

Horstman, Peters, and Dexter were a threat at the net for the Raiders, securing all six of the team’s blocks. Horstman and Peters blocks came at huge momentum-swinging opportune times to keep the Raider fans’ rocking all afternoon long.

Up Next: For the first time this season the Raiders are set to play a home match inside the newly renovated Bultman Center on Wednesday, September 29 against the (RV) Dakota Wesleyan Tigers. The new Bultman Center will be dedicated prior to the JV match at the Bultman Center lobby at 5:15 p.m.