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NW’s Wedel named NAIA Player of the Year

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Anna Wedel is the NAIA Player of the Year.
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Anna Wedel led the GPAC in hitting percentage.

ORANGE CITY, Iowa (Courtesy Northwestern College) -- The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced the 2019 Volleyball All-American teams and Anna Wedel headlines a list of three Red Raiders to take home the national honor. Wedel, a junior from Maurice, was named the NAIA Player of the Year and both Lacey Wacker and Makenzie Fink received first and third team honors, respectively.

The teams are chosen by the NAIA Volleyball All-America Selection Committee which is made up of NAIA-AVCA officers and the championship committee.

Wedel is the second Red Raider to earn the NAIA's top honor, joining Amy Schutt who was named the NAIA's Player of the Year in both 1992 and 1994. Wedel, now a two-time All-American, led the GPAC with a .345% hitting percentage and averaged 4.4 kills per set, 11th best in the NAIA. The junior hit for double figures in 31 matches and totaled 15 double-doubles this season. Wedel ranked second on the team in digs (2.7 per set) and put down 55 blocks. She was nearly unstoppable at the national tournament last week, ranking among the championships top five in kills and hitting percentage, and was named to the all-tournament team. Wedel was also named the GPAC Player of the Week and first team all-conference.

Wacker, the 2019 GPAC Setter of the Year, received All-American recognition for the second straight season, being named third team last year. Wacker led the NAIA in assists, averaging over 12 per set, in leading the best hitting offense in the NAIA (.303). The junior was second in the GPAC with a team-best 47 aces, averaged 2.2 digs per set and put down 56 blocks. Wacker recorded six double-doubles and one match, vs Midland, with a 20-20 (kills/digs).

Fink claims the national honor for the first time and is a three-time all-conference selection. Fink hit .316, fifth best in the GPAC, and put down 3.1 kills per set on the rightside for the Red Raider offense. Fink was third on the team in blocks (73), fifth in aces (28) and hit for double figures in 20 matches this season. The junior had one double-double (vs Dordt) and had one match with 20+ kills (vs Dordt).

Northwestern ended the season with a 32-2 record, losing in the national quarterfinals to Jamestown.

Brad Pautsch

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