September 28, 2012 - On a night where big leads were impossible to find, the Hillsdale College volleyball team found its way back into the win column.
The Chargers withstood a determined bunch from Malone University to post a 3-1 win Friday night in Canton, Ohio in the first-ever GLIAC match between the two teams. Hillsdale improved to 5-9 overall and 4-2 in the GLIAC with the win, and will face Walsh University for a 4:00 match Saturday.
Hillsdale won the first two sets by scores of 25-20 and 25-22. The fourth set was knotted up 24-24 when the Pioneers notched the final two points to force a fourth set. But the youthful Chargers gathered themselves on the road and led set 4 from start to finish, winning 25-22.
Neither team was able to build a great deal of momentum or a lead in any of the sets. Hillsdale got out to a 7-3 lead in set 4, but the Pioneers came back quickly to tie the set up, and the teams (almost) literally traded points from there on out.
Malone hit nearly .300 in the first two sets combined, and committed just 10 attack errors. But Hillsdale's blocking became a bigger factor in the second half of the match, forcing 20 Malone attack errors in sets three and four. As a result, the Pioneers had a team hitting percentage of less than .100 in the latter half of the match.
Leading the way for Hillsdale's blockers was freshman Haylee Booms, who enjoyed her most productive match at the net in her young career. Booms set season-highs with three solo blocks and five block assists. Another freshman also set a statistical career high, when libero Marissa Owen produced 25 digs. It was Owen's first start at libero in a GLIAC match.
Offensively, junior Caitlin Kopmeyer (pictured) had another outstanding two-way match for the Chargers, with a team-high 16 kills to go along with 14 digs. Kopmeyer had a .341 hitting percentage for Hillsdale.
Senior Lauren Grover, junior Bekah Draves and freshman Emily Wolfert all had nine kills for the Chargers, while setters Sydney Lenhart and Alexis Waugh combined for 44 assists. Waugh had an excellent serving night with four service aces.