SIOUX CITY | Ema Altena’s match-high 18 kills carried a tired, fourth-ranked Dordt volleyball team to its biggest win of the season to date, 20-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-20 over third-ranked and defending NAIA national champion Hastings Friday afternoon.
Leah Kamp added 11 kills for Dordt (32-7), which was coming off a 3-2 Pool D loss to No. 13 Missouri Baptist that concluded about a minute before 11 o’clock Thursday. By the luck of the draw, Coach Chad Hanson’s squad would face Great Plains Athletic Conference rival Hastings next, a team that had swept each of its Pool C opponents, including No. 14 Montana Tech, a match that started at noon on Thursday.
Hastings (28-3) had entered Friday afternoon’s match having won five of the last six matches in the series against Dordt, including a come-from-behind win in five-sets in last year’s NAIA Finals. In fact, each team had six athletes who played in last year’s title match.
The better-rested Broncos led throughout the first set and had a 10-6 lead in Game 2 on Casey Krolikowski’s kill, but Dordt roared back to take a 13-10 lead on Julia Lindbergh’s kill. GPAC player of the year Katie Placke (11 kills, 22 assists, 11 digs, 2 block assists) gave Hastings a 14-14 tie on a kill, but consecutive kills from the Defenders’ Haley Moss and Altena produced a lead that they never lost en route to tying the match at one win each.
Lindbergh had two kills in a three-point run as Dordt snapped an 18-all tie to take the advantage for keeps in Game 3. The Defenders took advantage of three Hastings attack errors while snapping a 5-5 Game 4 tie and again, never lost the lead, taking their biggest lead, 21-15 on Krommendyk’s kill.
Setter Jamie Gesink provided 40 assists, 10 digs, one solo block and three block assists for the Defenders, 13-time national qualifiers who are 12-1 in four-game matches this season. Krommendyk and Lindbergh each added eight kills.
Libero Summer Jansen dished 26 assists while Erica Bousema added 15. Krommendyk had a team-high seven block assists.
Andrea LaVene recorded 10 kills and six block assists for Hastings, a 12-time national qualifier. Krolikowski also had 10 kills.
MISSOURI BAPTIST 3, COLLEGE OF IDAHO 2: It was only fitting that two teams with plenty of five-game experience, including at this week’s NAIA Volleyball National Championship, played another marathon match Friday night.
Marion Couraud supplied 19 kills, 16 digs, two solo blocks and a block assist for 13th-ranked Missouri Baptist, which reached the semifinals after defeating No. 12 College of Idaho 25-21, 22-25, 25-23, 15-25, 15-12 in a match that took two hours and 10 minutes to complete.
Caterina Cigarini and Kristina Medanovic added 17 and 15 kills, respectively, for Missouri Baptist (34-8), whose 6-4 record in five-game matches included Pool D wins over Ottawa and Dordt. Setter Rachel Poole dished 53 assists while Rachel Luebbers finished with a team-best 18 digs.
Taylor Alexander supplied 14 kills and six block assists for College of Idaho (28-7), which earlier on Friday eliminated No. 11 Midland in five games. Ashley Pagan provided 12 kills, 10 digs, one solo block and three block assists while Alaina Slater contributed 11 kills, one solo block and nine block assists.
Setter Marija Djonovic, the nation’s assist leader, dished 51 assists while Brenna Meehan had 19 digs for a club that’s 5-5 in five-game matches.
VITERBO 3, PARK 0: Second-ranked Viterbo advanced to the semifinals with a 25-23, 25-21, 25-23 sweep of Park in a late match Friday evening.
Natalie Geidel was the go-to player for the V-Hawks who had a match-high 22 kills. Mioah Garant also chipped in 10 kills for Viterbo (39-1) which will face the winner of a later match Friday between Dordt and Westmont.
Maren Mair had 10 kills while Noura Meawad and Alissa Flint added nine for the Pirates, who end their season with a 33-4 mark.
LINDSEY WILSON 3, CORBAN 0: The top-ranked team continued to roll through the national tournament with a 25-16, 25-15, 25-18 quarterfinal victory over Corban (Ore.) in the quarterfinals Friday evening.
Elly Burke led the way for the team from Kentucky with 18 kills while Paulina Sobolewska added 12. Makenzie Montano ran the offense efficiently with 48 assists and Caitlyn Tino added 12 digs.
Lindsey Wilson (33-0) had an attack percentage of .348 while Corban managed just .155. Corban (28-8) was led by M Boeder's six kills as it bowed out of the tournament.
LINDSEY WILSON 3, EASTERN OREGON 1: Top-ranked Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) punched its ticket to the quarterfinals with a four-set win over Eastern Oregon Friday morning at the NAIA Volleyball Championships.
The Blue Raiders, now 32-0, dropped its third set in two days after only dropping one set coming into the Tyson Events Center, but managed to advance in the single elimination bracket with a 25-15, 27-29, 26-24, 25-23 victory.
Yeniffer Ramirez led the Lindsey Wilson attack with 17 kills while Elly Burke had 15 kills, Paulina Sobolewska 14 and Grace Blomstedt 10.
Makenzie Montano had 56 assists and 13 digs while Caitlyn Tino led the Mid-South Conference champs with 27 digs.
Amanda Miller led Eastern Oregon (24-11) with 16 kills whle Megan Bunn had 13.
Madison Pilon had 35 assists and Sarah Carpenter 18 assists for the Mountaineers, at at-large selection out of the Cascade Collegiate Conference.
CORBAN 3, GRAND VIEW 2: Amanda Parker had 19 kills and hammered home the final two as Corban (Ore.) outlasted Grand View (Iowa) in a five-set Round of 16 match on Friday morning 24-26, 26-24, 25-19, 21-25, 17-15.
Corban led 14-10 in the deciding fifth set only to see the Vikings tie the match at 14 and again at 15-15 all before Parker closed the contest with her final two kills of the match.
The Warriors (27-8) got 17 kills from Alaina Gentili and a 12-kill, 35-dig performance from Lauren Condon in advancing to the quarterfinals for the first time in school history.
Madison Milligan had 36 assists and 16 digs while Cierra Leopoldino 27 assists and 15 digs for the Cascade Collegiate Conference champs.
Haley Wells contributed 27 digs and Parker 25 for a Warriors team that had 142 in the grueling five-set match.
Courtney Twait led the Vikings (34-8) with 16 kills, Kelsey Redmond had 13 while chipping in 12 and 10 respectively were Meagan Miller and Erin Wenzel.
Trystin Luneckas had 48 assists and 14 digs while the defensive leaders for the Vikings were Jordyn Rittmer with 39 digs and Keely Larkin with 29.
PARK 3, MORNINGSIDE 0: Seventh-ranked Park was no doubt, motivated to face Morningside in Friday’s First Round after falling to the Mustangs a year ago in pool play.
Noura Meawad and Aneisha Ford each slammed 10 kills for Park, which posted a 25-20, 25-20, 25-12 sweep over the upset-minded Mustangs, who were making their First Round debut. Nada Meawad added nine kills for Park (33-3).
“We were not the Mustangs that we had normally been in this tournament,” said Morningside setter Callie Alberico, who delivered 23 assists. “We just didn’t come out as strong and fiery. By the third set, we started to really show up and it was kind of late at that point.”
Consecutive blocks from Brittni Olson (4 block assists) gave Morningside (20-14) a 3-1 lead. One of those blocks was against Ford, a 6-1 senior middle blocker who transferred from Morningside, where she last played in 2015. Ford and her teammates didn’t take long to tie the set 4-4 and from there, the American Midwest Conference champions bolted to the sweep.
“Once they got in our heads, our girls started thinking about what they had to do differently instead of playing our game,” said Morningside Coach Beth Donnelly. “For the first time in this tournament, I actually saw us a little bit nervous and a little bit shaken.
“It’s too bad. It’s not the way our seniors wanted to go out. We saw some promise from the young ones in the third set. We tried to change things up to mix with them a little bit and take the momentum off their court, but it just didn’t work.”
Freshman Krista Zenk led the Mustangs with 11 kills while sophomore Emma Gerber added seven. Senior Nikki Oberfoell had 18 digs.
WESTMONT 3, NORTHWESTERN 0: Serving and passing are so important in volleyball and they were factors which hurt fifth-ranked Northwestern in a 25-20, 25-16, 25-17 loss to No. 6 Westmont.
“I thought Westmont out-served us and out-passed us,” said Northwestern Coach Kyle Van Den Bosch. “If you don’t win that battle at this level, it’s going to be hard to win. Then, they were able to control the match from there.”
Libby Dahlberg hit .579 while pounding a match-high 12 kills for Westmont (36-3). Both the 6-foot-3 Dahlberg and 6-foot Samatha Neely (9 kills) had four block assists. Setters Amy Buffham and Camryn Kaina dished 18 and 16 assists, respectively, while Lauren Friis had 12 digs.
Though Kaina and Friis are freshmen, the majority of Westmont’s athletes on the floor were juniors. Lauryn Hilger (10 digs, 3 kills) was Northwestern’s lone junior on the court, while four sophomores and four freshmen, including setter Lacey Wacker (21 assists, 9 digs, 1 ace) also played for Van Den Bosch’s club.
“To play at the pace this game is at, we needed to see it,” said Van Den Bosch. “Being a young team, learning in this environment is so valuable. We’ll take this as an experience and hopefully by next year, we’ll go a notch better and take another step further.”
Sophomore Anna Kiel led Northwestern (30-6) with eight kills and added one solo block and one block assist. Freshman Makenzie Fink had seven kills while sophomore A.J. Horstman contributed six kills and 10 digs.
COLLEGE OF IDAHO 3, MIDLAND 2: Priscilla O’Dowd had a match-high 21 kills, accompanied by 12 digs, two solo blocks and a block assist, but it wasn’t enough as 11th-ranked Midland became the first Great Plains Athletic Conference team to become eliminated, falling 21-25, 25-17, 22-25, 22-25, 15-11 by No. 12 College of Idaho.
NAIA assists leader Marija Djonovic (11.6 assists per game) dealt 51 assists for College of Idaho (28-6), which last reached the quarterfinals in 2011. Ashley Pagan provided 18 kills and 18 digs for the Coyotes while Taylor Alexander added 14 kills and 10 digs. Kilee Lopez had a match-high 41 assists.
Jenny Bair had 13 kills and Taylor Petersen added 12 kills for Midland (21-11), which reached the semifinals a year ago. Jessica Peters had 55 assists and 15 digs while Mackenzie Wecker had 28 digs, three more than Jessica Nekl.
MISSOURI BAPTIST 3, MONTANA TECH 1: Fueled by the momentum of Thursday night’s come-from-behind five-game triumph over No. 4 Dordt, 13th-ranked Missouri Baptist ran its week-long record at the Tyson Events Center to 4-0 following a 20-25, 27-25, 25-23, 26-24 win over No. 14 Montana Tech.
Marion Couraud supplied 17 kills, 15 digs, three block assists and one ace serve for Missouri Baptist (33-8), back in the quarterfinals after a year’s absence. Ana Oliveira also had a nice box score, contributing 16 kills, 14 digs and two ace serves.
Setter Rachel Poole (53 assists, 13 digs) directed an attack that included 12 kills for Caterina Cigarini and 11 kills for Kristina Medanovic. Medanovic also paced the Spartans with four solo blocks.
Masha Korol led Montana Tech’s balanced attack with 16 kills while Angela Molesworth and Haley Druyvestein added 13 and 11, respectively. Setter Hannah Liss dished 28 assists while Sabrina Hopcroft had 23 digs. Druvestein also led the Orediggers (24-10) with one solo block and six block assists.
VITERBO 3, JAMESTOWN 0: Natalie Geidel supplied 16 kills, one solo block and three block assists as second-ranked Viterbo reached the quarterfinals following a 26-24, 25-11, 25-18 sweep over No. 19 Jamestown.
Aubrey Aspen hit .476 while adding 11 kills for Viterbo (38-1). Setter Amelia Grahn provided 40 assists, 11 digs and three block assists while Baylee Gross had a team-high 21 digs.
Setters Whitney King and Josie Beckman delivered 18 and 11 assists, respectively, for Jamestown (23-10), which starting next year, will compete in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. Morgan Hensch had 11 kills while Elise Peterson had 26 digs.
GRAND VIEW 3, COLUMBIA 1: Kelsey Redmond had 17 kills and Erin Wenzel added 11 while leading ninth-ranked Grand View to a 25-21, 25-18, 23-25, 25-19 win over No. 8 Columbia in a key Pool H match.
Setter Trystin Luneckas supplied 40 assists, 13 digs and four block assists for Grand View (34-7), which closed Pool H play with a 3-0 record. The Vikings’ win also clinched Morningside’s second-place Pool H finish and a berth in the First Round.
Jordyn Rittman and Meagan Miller each recorded 15 digs for Grand View. Ashley Prusha had seven block assists.
Jordan Wolfe and Zori Curry each recorded 14 kills for Columbia (34-8), a 24-time national qualifier. Setters Selina Merfol and Yamilet Velazquez dished 28 and 15 assists, respectively. Gabriela Walton had 19 digs while Curry had two solo blocks and four block assists.
MISSOURI BAPTIST 3, DORDT 2: No. 13 Missouri Baptist outlasted fourth-ranked Dordt in five sets 19-25, 25-20, 18-25, 25-18, 16-14 to capture first place in Pool D.
Marion Couraud had 24 kills against just seven attacking errors for the Spartans.
Rachel Poole had 53 assists and Rachel Luebbers 19 digs for Missouri Baptist, at at-large selection out of the American Midwest Conference.
Ema Altena led the Defenders with 19 kills, Leah Kamp had 13 while Haley Moss and Julia Lindbergh 10 apiece.
Dordt, one of the Great Plains Athletic Conference tri-champions, received 49 assists and 10 digs from Jamie Gesink.