Volleyball sweeps GPAC, heads to nationals

Caleb Pollema–Staff Writer

Athletes dream of bein on a team that gets to compete at the highest level for championships.

For the Dordt women’s volleyball team, that was once again the case on Saturday night.

The Defenders would get a shot at the GPAC Tournament Championship against archrival Northwestern in front of a packed house in DeWitt.

The goal was simple.

“Win in three,” said senior middle blocker, Leah Kamp.

And win in three they did as Dordt would sweep Northwestern 3-0 in front of a packed house to be crowned the GPAC Tournament Champions.

In the sweep, Dordt held Northwestern to a kill efficiency of .130 and had the blocks advantage 9-5.

“I love our blocks,” said Coach HAnson after the match, “nine blocks in a three-set match is a good sign for our defensive focus.”

With the victory, one chapter closes on the careers of six Dordt seniors who played their last game in the DeWitt in front of Defender Nation.

“It felt surreal to compete for a final time in DeWitt gym,” saidseniro outside hitter, Ema Altena. “I would not ahve wanted to do it in any other gym and I am so blessed to have been a paret of and to represent Defender NAtion.”

Dordt now boasts a 27-2 record overall with both an undefeated regular season and conference tournament record.

The team will now turn its attention to the NAIA NAtional Tournament which begins November 27th in Sioux City.

With over two weeks off until the tournament, the Defenders will continue to practice in preparation for another deep tournament run.

“We have a couple weeks until Nationals so that is always a long, grueling couple of weeks just practicing,” said Kamp.

With more downtime over the nexxt two weeks, the Defenders will continue to take each practice as an apportunity to work on their theme for the year.

“We focus on this theme for practices,” Altena said, “‘what can we do today to better prepare us for the match tomorrow’, ‘what can we do today to better serve our tammates and set them up for success'”.

With this in mind, excitement will continue to build for the national tournament as the Defenders seek to make their third consecutive appearance in the championship match.

“As a team, we have expectations for ourselves,” said Altena. “We’d love to get back to the chamipionship game again, but we realize we need to take each day and each game as it comes.”

With a group of seniors that have been through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows during there time at Dordt, their experience is imperative as Dordt pursues a national title.

“We’ve always had these goals of winning the GPAC tournament and winning a NAtional Championship,” Kamp said. “It’s been in our minds for awhile now.”

Time will tell if this final goal becomes a reality.

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