Pilots win NCCAA Division 1 volleyball title

Published 2:00 pm Monday, November 23, 2020

MISHAWAKA, Ind. — It took five sets for Bethel University to knock off top-seed Northwestern to win the NCCAA Division 1 women’s volleyball national championship in Saint Paul, Minnesota on Saturday.

The Pilots and the Eagles slugged it out, with Bethel holding off four match points in the fifth and deciding set to win its fifth national championship. The Pilots rallied from an 0-2 deficit to win 19-25, 21-25, 27-25, 25-23 and 19-17.

“[I am] incredibly proud of this awesome team,” said Bethel Coach Katie Weiss. “Thankful to God for all the ways he has sustained us, encouraged us and provided for us. I’m blessed to finish 2020 with a national title! Way to go Pilots.”

Bethel (20-4) held off Northwestern (14-5) match points in the fifth set at 14-13, 15-14, 16-15 and 17-16. It was the second time this season that the Pilots had to rally from a 2-0 deficit to win a match.

Isabelle North and Maddy Payne both finished with 20 kills and combined for 18 blocks. Madyson Beaver added seven kills, 28 assists and 13 digs, while Caroline Mullett had 25 assists and 12 digs.

North was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while Beaver and Payne both made the all-tournament team. Weiss was named NCCAA National Coach of the Year.

Bethel won its first national championship since 2007. The Pilots also won the title in 1993, 1994 and 1998.