Dordt downed Viterbo 3-1 on Saturday morning to advance to the NAIA national championship match, but the Defenders fell to Lindsey Wilson on Saturday night, falling one win short of a title.
Dordt got 19 kills from Leah Kamp against Viterbo, and Ema Altena added 17 kills in the semifinal win. The Defenders dropped the first set, before rallying for three-straight set wins, and a berth in the title game.
Dordt head coach Chad Hanson credited his team with reducing their errors as the match went on.
"That was a big factor for us," said head coach Chad Hanson. "It gave our hitters some breathing room, it confirmed for our passers that they were doing the right thing, and it let us stay more unified and gelled together."
"This story's never been written before for Dordt volleyball, for Dordt's history, and for these athletes," added Hanson. "It's a joy to be a part of it with them, and to watch them create this story for themselves."
But, in the national championship game, top-ranked and unbeaten Lindsey Wilson flipped the script on the Defenders. The Blue Raiders took the first two sets by scores of 25-16 and 25-23.
Dordt came out of the intermission strong, winning the third set 25-20. Kamp had 20 kills in the match, while Altena added 11.
But the Defenders ran out of gas in set four. Lindsey Wilson scored the first five points of the set, and used that momentum to secure a 25-14 set win, capping a 35-0 season with a national championship in the 3-1 win.
It's Dordt's second-straight season finishing as the national runners-up.
"I told them here in the locker room, the pain from this loss, I hope is the best pain that they will ever experience, because this is really an amazing platform for us to be in. Defender nation came out strong. We wanted more, we wanted more in our side, to produce more on the court, but we're grateful for this total experience. It's been a real blessing.
Thursday, December 14 2017 10:58 PM EST2017-12-15 03:58:39 GMT
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