WHERE AND WHEN…
Dordt will play in the NAIA National Championship quarterfinal round tonight at 6:00 pm on court 2 at the Gateway Arena in the Tyson Event Center. Dordt faces Columbia (Missouri) for the right to move on the semifinal round at 11:00 Saturday morning. The matches will be available on KDCR 88.5 FM. The NAIA produces a pay per view option for online viewing at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/naia/ . Results will be posted to www.dordt.edu/athletics and https://twitter.com/dcathletics and also at https://www.facebook.com/dordtdefenders
Columbia is the no. 3 overall seed in the tournament and advanced out of Pool C as the runner-up. The Cougars are 40-4 this season and had to beat Aquinas late Friday night in a playoff set to 25 to earn a spot in the round of 16.
Columbia was 2-1 in pool play with a 3-2 loss to Aquinas on Tuesday starting its week. The perennial power then followed with a 3-0 win over Vanguard and a 3-1 win over Midland. Columbia’s round of 16 opponent was Hastings on Friday morning and the American Midwest Conference member swept the Broncos.
Caroline Clifford leads the team with a 3.39 kills per set average and she has a .303 kill efficiency. Kiersten Anderson averages 2.41 kills and is hitting .306. Pamela Jaime adds 2.05 kills and Barbara Sabino is good for 2.01. Maria Sandoval didn’t play much entering the tournament but has been impactful and is averaging 1.18 kills per set. Manauela Vargas runs the offense with a 10.79 assists per set average and Thais Andrade has a 4.08 digs per set average.
Columbia is good for 13.12 kills per set and a .308 kill efficiency while teams average 9.44 kills against them and have a .095 efficiency. Columbia has a 285-107 ace serve advantage and put up 2.3 blocks per set with a 1.21 allowed.
Dordt has a 31-2 record this fall and finished 16-0 at the conclusion of the GPAC season. Dordt’s last loss was a 3-2 decision at Grand View on September 7. Dordt’s other loss is a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Rocky Mountain. Both of those teams are in the 16-team bracket.
Ema Altena leads the team with a 3.95 kill average and she has a .282 kill efficiency while getting to 2.41 digs per set and she has 39 ace serves this year. Leah Kamp is averaging 2.77 kills per set with a .324 kill efficiency while Ally Krommendyk’s average is 2.29 with a .341 efficiency. Julia Lindbergh and Jessi De Jager are good for 2.05 and 1.75 kills per set and De Jager is averaging just under a block per set along with Kamp. Krommendyk leads the team with 1.36 blocks per set.
Jamie De Jager is putting up 10.92 assists per set with 35 aces and 2.36 digs per outing. She also has a 1.0 kills per set average. Hannah Connelly has 26 ace serves and 1.95 digs and Aubrey Drake has 22 aces and leads the team in digs with 5.19 per game. Dordt scores 2.61 points per set on blocks and opponents get 1.73. Teams are averaging 9.56 kills against Dordt with a .104 kill efficiency.
Coach Chad Hanson’s eighth Dordt College edition is making the program’s fourth straight National Championship appearance and its fifth in the last six years. Overall, this is the 14th appearance for the Defenders and 12th since 2000. The Defenders were National Runners-Up in 2016 and 2017 and had a semifinal berth in 2003. This is the Defender’s ninth time advancing out of pool play in those 14 appearances.
Dordt lost set one for the third match in a row but bounced back to defeat Eastern Oregon 23-25, 25-15, 25-13, 25-19. Dordt had a .314-.158 kill efficiency advantage and had a 4-1 ace serve edge. Ema Altena had 21 kills and 16 digs while Leah Kamp had 13 kills. Julia Lindbergh and Ally Krommendyk each had 12 kills and Jamie De Jager put up 59 assists with 18 digs. Aubrey Drake got to 27 digs to pace Dordt and four different players had one ace each.
Columbia beat Hastings 25-12, 25-8, 25-14 and attacked for a .444 kill efficiency while limiting Hastings to -.053. Columbia got 10 kills from Clifford and nine from Sandoval and Anderson. Vargas recorded 28 assists and Columbia had nine service aces with four by Clifford and three form Anderson. Sandoval had nine digs to lead the Cougars.
These two have met several times at the NAIA National Championship and the last meeting was in the quarterfinal round in 2016. Dordt earned a 21-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-17 win to eventually advance to the national title match. Brooke Granstra had 23 to lead Dordt that night and Altena had 14 while Gesink lofted 48 assists. Clifford is the only player on Columbia’s current team from that squad and she had nine kills and seven digs.
WHERE WE GO FROM HERE….
The winner will face the winner of the Grand View-Viterbo quarterfinal tomorrow morning at 11:00 with the championship match at 7:00 pm Saturday night.