Sixth-ranked Northwestern defeated seventh-ranked Midland University in five sets Oct. 5 in a Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) matchup of top 10 teams.
Set scores were an 25-18 loss in Set One for NWC; a 29-27 win in Set Two; a 25-23 win in Set Three; a 25-18 loss in Set Four and a 15-10 win in the tiebreaking Set Five for the Red Raiders in a home match at NWC’s Bultman Center in Orange City.
Northwestern won its 22nd straight match and improved to 7-0 in the GPAC, 23-1 overall record. Midland dropped its second match of the year and fell to 5-2 in conference play, 23-2 overall record.
Karlie Schut put down a team-high 18 kills and Haley Chambers totaled a career-high 15 kills in 33 attempts against just one error in leading the Red Raider offense. Kaitlin Floerchinger added 17 kills and 16 digs while Brooke Fessler led an NWC offense that hit 0.256 for the match with 47 assists. Alexis Bart had 22 digs to lead the back row.
Also contributing was Nicole Jacobs, a senior from Hawarden and a West Sioux alumnus, with 10 digs.
Midland broke open a tight First Set with a late 10-5 run and went on to win 25-18. The Warriors hit 0.359, totaling 15 kills and just one error in the First Set win.
Northwestern led the lead for most of the Second Set including a three-point advantage, 21-18, before Midland went on a 5-1 run to grab a 23-22 lead. Back-to-back kills by Schut and Chambers gave the Red Raiders a Set point but Midland managed a side out and tied it again at 24. The teams traded sideouts over the next three points until Northwestern closed the Second Set on kills by Floerchinger and Chambers to win it 29-27.
Midland stormed out to a quick 6-2 lead in the Third Set forcing the Red Raiders to call an early timeout. Northwestern began to rally, however, and eventually tied it at 13-13. Still tied at 16, Northwestern scored four straight points on kills by Floerchinger and Schut followed by an ace serve by Bart to take a 20-16 lead. The Red Raiders stretched their lead to 24-19 until Midland rallied on three aces by Ashley Wheeler to get within one 24-23. A missed serve then gave the Red Raiders the Third Set win.
Down 2-1 Midland then led most of the Fourth Set, hitting 0.359 with 20 kills, six errors in 39 attempts. An ace by Schut followed by an attack error by Midland put the score at 19-16 Warriors but the visitors closed out the set with a 6-2 run to win it 25-18 and force a Fifth Set.
Tied at 4-4 Northwestern seized control of the Fifth Set with a 3-0 run behind a kill by Bart and an attack error by Midland. Leading 12-10, Northwestern scored the final three points on a kill by Chambers and two errors by Midland at the net.
Northwestern totaled 10 blocks, led by Kellie Goedken with 2.5; Samuelson and Fessler had two.
Midland hit 0.250 for the match and was led by Wheeler with 20 kills and Mackenzie Scheef had 18.
Northwestern hosted Briar Cliff in a GPAC rivalry match Oct. 9.