October 5, 2012 - It was the win of the year (so far) for the Hillsdale College volleyball team.
The young Chargers showed grit, character and newfound experience in gutting out a 3-2 win over Wayne State University Friday night at Jesse Philips Arena. Hillsdale is now 7-9 overall and 6-2 in the GLIAC, and it handed the Warriors their first loss in conference play. Wayne State is now 7-1 in the GLIAC.
This was a significant step in the development of this Hillsdale team, which Friday night, saw all seven freshmen receive significant playing time. It was the Chargers' first five-set win of the season, and it came against an opponent that had gotten off to one of its best starts in many years. Wayne State is in the "others receiving votes" category of the AVCA Division II Top 25 poll, and with Northwood, was the lone unbeaten team in conference play headed into Friday night.
Hillsdale overcame a frustrating 27-25 loss in set one to post wins in sets two (25-23) and three (25-19). The Warriors came out with a vengance in set 4, whipping the Chargers 25-15. But as quickly as Wayne State seized momentum, Hillsdale took it right back in set 5. The home team scored the first four consecutive points of the fifth set, grabbing control right away. The Chargers led 8-2 when the teams switched sides, and the Warriors never got closer than five points down the rest of the way.
This match saw several career performances from Hillsdale. Junior Caitlin Kopmeyer, the team's hottest offensive player of late, set a new career-high with 22 kills to lead all players. She hit .266, and had 14 digs and four block assists for the winning team.
Senior Lauren Grover set a new career-high with 11 block assists (one solo block) to go along with 11 kills, making it her first double-double of her outstanding career. Grover finished off the match with a floor-denting kill to give the Chargers the win.
Sophomore libero Bailey Lindner showed supreme athleticism, excellent passing and court coverage in picking up a career-high 29 digs for Hillsdale. She was just one dig short of becoming the first member of the 30-dig club from Hillsdale since 2005.
Hillsdale has now won seven straight matches over Wayne State, dating back to the start of the 2009 season.