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Northland International volleyball

Pioneers split matches; home Tuesday

October 21, 2012
The Daily News

DUNBAR, Wis. - Northland International University hosted its last women's volleyball tri-match of the season as they approach what will probably be the last week of the season.

"We finally got caught by the school record we were running from, but we really did play well and have improved a lot," senior Beth Braker said. "I am excited headed into the regional tournament.

The Lady Pioneers hosted Gogebic College and Grace Bible College this past weekend.

On Friday, NIU split with Gogebic, losing the opener 3-1 (25-23, 25-27, 23-25, 22-25) and taking the second 3-0 (25-23, 25-12, 26-24).

"We played really strong against GCC, they are a good team," NIU Coach Dave Herron said. "The stat sheet tells me that we are handing our opponents points by way of missed serves and hitting errors.

"I am very proud of their improvement in team play, though."

On Saturday, the same teams came into the Pioneer Athletic Center and split two more matches - NIU 3-0 (25-18, 15-9, 25-16) and Gogebic 3-0 (21-25, 23-25, 15-25).

"We work really hard to get into the match and stay in the match but then we make careless errors by way of missing a serve or hitting balls out and lose momentum," senior Chelsea Behn said.

NIU will host Finlandia at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the final home match of the season. These two teams played two weeks ago, with the Pioneers coming out with wins.

"Finlandia is well coached and probably a little more athletic than us and we need to be motivated to play," Herron said.

The seniors - Beth Braker, Chelsea Behn and manager Courtney Harris - will be honored on Tuesday evening.

At the end of the week, NIU travels to Grand Rapids, Mich., for the Midwest Regional tournament. The fifth-seeded Pioneers play host Kuyper College on Friday morning. Top-seeded Maranatha awaits with a victory.

"Our goal is to win the first match and get to Saturdays championship round," Herron said. "It is about survive and advance."



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