SIOUX CITY, IA -

Dordt showed no signs of a long layoff in dispatching of St. Francis (Illinois) in the opener of pool play at the NAIA National Volleyball Championship in Sioux City, Iowa.

The Defenders got out to a 4-0 lead right away in set one and led 7-2 before the Fighting Saints rebounded and took a brief lead at 13-12 on an Alyssa Bridleman kill. Dordt tied it on a Brooke Granstra kill and then pushed ahead 14-13 on the strength of a ball handling error. The two points were the first of four in a row for the Defenders and the lead quickly expanded to 22-14 on another run, this time of six points. Dordt eventually won the set with the game winning point coming on a block by Elizabeth Kiel and Haley Moss. The block was one of three block points the Defenders recorded in the match.

Set two was similar in that Dordt again scored four of the first five points but the Fighting Saints bounced back to lead 10-8. A kill by Jamie Gesink was the first of six points in a row for the Defenders and the run was capped by a Brooke Granstra kill. Another five point run by Dordt put the Defenders up 20-12 and Granstra finished the 25-17 win with a kill.

St. Francis led early in set three and the set featured four ties with Dordt taking the lead for good at 11-10. Back to back kills by Ema Altena followed by an Elizabeth Kiel kill extended the lead and Dordt rolled to the 25-17 win with Kiel recording the game winner off an assist by Gesink.

THE NUMBERS
-Dordt enjoyed a .213 kill efficiency while limiting St. Francis to .037.
-Dordt had 42 kills to 25 for the Saints and Dordt had 80 digs to 62 for the Saints.
-Brooke Granstra had 16 kills for the Defenders with 14 digs.
-Ema Altena had seven kills and an ace serve and Haley Moss also had seven kills.
-Jamie Gesink recorded 30 assists and had an ace serve.
-Summer Jansen got to a match high 29 digs.
-St. Francis was led by Alyssa Bridleman’s seven kills and Brooke Hartnell and Leah Alles each had 16 digs.
-Dordt is now 23-7 and will face Madonna (Michigan) on Wednesday at 5:00 pm in the second match of pool play. St. Francis will take a 31-12 record into its match with Grand View on Wednesday at 7:00.

COACH HANSON SAID
“It was a good first match for us after this break and I’m really, really pleased with how our team came out and executed in a lot of different ways. We really took care of the ball and kept the points coming on our scoreboard. When we were down a point here or there we just stayed focused and kept doing the right things. At this tournament it’s always about execution…how are you going to execute in this venue in this environment at this stage in your season. Some teams have had a two game break and some have had a three week break. Whether it’s a crazy outcome or an expected outcome with the better seed winning it always feels good.”