SIOUX CITY, IOWA (KCAU) – All roads lead to Sioux City as teams across the nation prepare for Final Site play in the 2023 NAIA Volleyball National Tournament. Top-ranked Northwestern volleyball is our lone Siouxland squad competing at the Tyson Events Center this week, and the program is poised for another deep run with hopes of claiming its first ever Red Banner.
The Red Raiders are fresh off their 4th straight NAIA opening round sweep and they’ve got plenty of momentum heading in. Sweeping 23 matches this season, the team rides a 13-game win streak into the Final Site along with its first GPAC Tournament title since 2014.
They’ve shown even more dominance defensively, sitting atop the nation with 3.54 blocks per set. Northwestern lays claim to some of the top players and coaches in the country: GPAC Player of the Year Jazlin De Haan, GPAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year Zavyr Metzger, who leads the NAIA in blocks per set, and GPAC Coach of the Year Kyle Van Den Bosch.
Despite having just one senior on roster, leadership is evident with many of the younger players on the team. A group who aims to channel that success towards its first ever NAIA national title.
“The girls that have been in this program they set a high standard of how we practice and compete and this group had a goal from the beginning to get back here,” Northwestern head coach Kyle Van Den Bosch said. “Each position group has been doing a good job at what they do. I think it’s one of our better defensive teams in the back row as well.”
“We have a lot of trust in each other as soon as we step onto the court,” Northwestern sophomore middle hitter Zavyr Metzger said. “We know we have each other’s backs and I think that’s something that allows us to go far throughout the whole season.”
“Each game is gonna be top tier, all the best teams are here so just coming in with the mindset that every team is gonna be good coming up here,” Northwestern junior Jazlin De Haan said. “It’s exciting to play the best competition.”
Northwestern enters Pool Play A matches against St. Ambrose (IA) on Nov, 29 and Bellevue (NE) on Dec. 1. Both matches are set for 10:00am at the Tyson Events Center.
NAIA TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE:
Pool Play: Nov. 29-Dec. 1
Quarterfinals: Dec. 2
Semifinals: Dec. 4
National Championship: Dec. 5