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No. 6 Midland Volleyball Wins GPAC Postseason Title

No. 6 Midland Volleyball Wins GPAC Postseason Title

Nov 16th , 2013

Orange City, Iowa. - No.6 Midland University defeated No.5 Northwestern College 3-2 (24-26,25-19,25-23,21-25,17-15) Saturday night to claim the title of GPAC Postseason Champions.

"Two great teams gave the fans their money’s worth," said Paul Giesselmann, Midland University volleyball head coach. "I’m so proud of the girls for having the perseverance to come back from a 5-0 deficit in the fifth set to upset the No. 5 team in the country on their home floor. I’m very excited for this team to have the opportunity to play in the National Tournament."

Ashley Wheeler led the Warriors with 15 kills and 18 digs on the night. Ashlee Harms added 13 kills while hitting .214 and Mackenzie Scheef scored 11 kills for Midland.  Mahala Egr had 15 digs and Molly Pettit marked 14 on the night. Megan Farley chalked up 43 assists in the win.

The Warriors played a tough first set with Midland and the Red Raiders going back and forth throughout. Midland fell behind late in the set, 18-20, but rallied to tie things up at 21-21. From there the Warriors and Northwestern went point for point to 24. The Red Raiders came up with two big kills and Midland dropped the set in extra points, 24-26.

In set two Midland came out with a point to prove. Northwestern played the Warriors tough and kept a one point lead midway through the set at 12-11. The Warriors fired off three straight points to give Midland the two point lead, 14-12. From there the Warriors never looked back, going on a 9-3 run late in the set with a Becca Gradoville service ace lifting Midland to at 25-19 game-two win. The victory tied the match up at 1-1.

Midland came out of the break using the momentum of set two to their advantage. The Red Raiders kept the game close in the first half of set three with the score reaching 12-12. The Warriors fell behind late, 18-16 after a Red Raider run and used a timeout. Midland came out of the timeout by rallying to tie the set at 19-19. Northwestern was able to gain a two point lead, but again the Warriors answered and squared the score at 22 all. Midland capped off a two point swing with a kill from KC Heimann to take the set, 25-23. The set-three win gave Midland a 2-1 match advantage.

In a must-win set four for Northwestern and the Red Raiders answered. The set reached an even 13-13, but from there the Red Raiders went on a three point run and a four point run to lead the game 20-16. The Red Raiders outhit Midland in the remainder and took the set 21-25.

The match would head to the fifth and final set, where the Warriors had come up short to Northwestern two times earlier in the season.

The Red Raiders came out hot, taking an earlier 5-0 lead over Midland. After a Warrior timeout, the Warriors slowly rallied back, cutting the Northwestern deficit to 6-4. A couple of errors by Midland were costly and they trailed 10-7 and burned their final timeout of the set. Midland came out of the timeout with an answer, using a 4-0 run to take the lead 11-10. From there it was still cutthroat action between both squads. The Warriors and the Red Raiders went back and forth with Midland edging out Northwestern 17-15 in the final set for a 3-2 victory and the title of GPAC Postseason Champions.

With the victory, No. 6 Midland University earns an automatic bid to the NAIA National Volleyball Tournament on November, 23. The victory marks the first GPAC Postseason Title in Midland Volleyball history and puts the Warriors at a program-best 34-3.