SIOUX CITY | Dordt College’s Ema Altena, Jamie Gesink and Brooke Granstra were three of the seven individuals who repeated as first-team selections on the Great Plains Athletic Conference’s all-conference volleyball team that was released Wednesday.
The three Defenders are leaders for a team that was listed eighth in the final NAIA national rankings that were released Monday. Dordt (22-7, 13-3 GPAC) is one of five teams from the league that have qualified for the NAIA National Tournament.
Altena, a 5-11 sophomore outside hitter from Sioux Center, Iowa, has 295 kills, an average of 2.78 per game. Dordt’s leader with 45 ace serves, Altena has also shined with 56 blocks for the Defenders.
Gesink, a 5-10 sophomore from Sioux Center, has 1,137 assists, an average of 10.73 per game. She has also contributed 274 digs, 87 kills, 33 blocks and 28 ace serves.
Still another Sioux Center native is Granstra, a 5-11 middle blocker. Dordt’s leader with 355 kills (4.13 per game), Granstra also had 222 digs, 75 blocks and 16 ace serves.
Northwestern sophomore Lauryn Hilger and Briar Cliff senior Katelin Langel also received first-team honors.
Hilger, a 5-10 middle blocker from Omaha, had 467 kills for Northwestern (18-17, 10-6), an average of 3.86 per game. She also provided 296 digs, 57 blocks and 28 ace serves.
Langel, a 5-10 right side from Le Mars, Iowa, recorded 293 kills, an average of 3.08 per game for Briar Cliff (12-16, 5-11 GPAC). She also had 52 blocks and 63 digs.
Morningside (19-13, 8-8 GPAC), the host team for the NAIA National Tournament, was represented on the second team by outside hitter Jenn Buyert (304 kills, 90 blocks) and middle blocker Brittni Olson (315 kills, 156 blocks). Two Mustangs also received honorable mention status, middle blocker Ashley Vande Stouwe (231 kills, 136 blocks) and right side Jayde Bergmann (275 kills, 67 blocks).
Dordt middle blocker Elizabeth Kiel (208 kills, 105 blocks) and right side Haley Moss (195 kills, 95 blocks) were placed on the second team. The Defenders also had two honorable mention picks, libero Liz Scholten (410 digs) and defensive specialist Summer Jansen (200 digs).
Northwestern outside hitters A.J. Horstman (387 kills, 186 digs, 77 blocks, 46 ace serves) and Jessica Jensen (344 kills, 33 blocks) earned second-team honors. Setter Jessa Doom (1,173 assists, 260 digs) won honorable mention honors along with her libero teammate, Jillian Estes (526 digs).
Libero Breanne Hankins (570 digs) was Briar Cliff’s lone second-team representative. Two Chargers were on the honorable mention list, outside hitter Courtney Schafer (253 kills) and setter Laura Barry (523 assists, 205 digs).
Among the repeat first-team GPAC selections was the league’s player of the year, Hastings senior middle blocker Logan Drueppel (288 kills, 168 blocks).
Doane setter Alex Neff (1,077 assists) was named the GPAC freshman of the year.
Matt Buttermore of third-ranked and league champion Hastings was named the GPAC coach of the year.