September 7, 2013 - The final scores of Saturday's two matches were very deceiving, as the Charger volleyball team played two very competitive matches with teams ranked ninth and 11th in the nation in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Hillsdale lost to regional rival Indianapolis 3-0 in Saturday's first match, with the set scores being 25-20, 25-22 and 25-21. The match against Colorado School of Mines went in similar fashion, with Hillsdale losing by scores of 25-19, 25-23 and 25-23.
Several young players had standout performances for the Chargers throughout the day Saturday. After finishing strong in Friday's second match, sophomore outside hitter Jordan Denmark recorded a career-high eight kills in the loss to Indianapolis. She put away a total of 14 straight kills before recording an error over the course of two matches, from late Friday night to early Saturday.
Freshman middle hitter Briana Herr announced her arrival to the program with a pair of strong matches Saturday. She had four kills against the Greyhounds, and followed that up with a five-kill effort in the nightcap. Herr figures to be a fixture at middle for years to come for Hillsdale.
Junior Alexis Waugh had 24 assists, three service aces and six digs in a solid effort against Colorado School of Mines. Senior Caitlin Kopmeyer led Hillsdale with eight kills in Saturday's final match.
Hillsdale plays its home opener at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Cedarville University. The match will be played inside the brand-new Margot V. Biermann Center on Hillsdale College's campus. This will be the only scheduled home match for the new athletic building, designed primarily for tennis and track.
September 6, 2013 - For the second year in a row, the Hillsdale College volleyball team opened its season in the most difficult season-opening tournament in the country, hosted by six-time defending national champion Concordia-St. Paul in Minnesota.
The Chargers lost two matches which started 9 1/2 hours apart, 3-2 to Wingate, and 3-0 to the host Golden Bears. Hillsdale battles the University of Indianapolis and Colorado School of Mines in Saturday's half of the tournament.
In Friday's nightcap against Concordia-St. Paul, the Chargers hung tough at different stages throughout each set, but were victims of long scoring runs in each set. The Golden Bears had 7-0 runs in all three sets.
One player who played outstanding for Hillsdale against Division II's best team was sophomore outside hitter Emily Wolfert. She had 11 kills, with no errors and a .579 attack percentage. Although the overall result of the match was a loss, it's a very promising sign for the Chargers that Wolfert played so efficiently against such a good team.
Making her first collegiate start, sophomore Jordan Denmark recovered from a rough start to post seven kills for Hillsdale. At one point, she had one kill with five hitting errors, but adjusted impressively, and had six kills without recording an error after that start.
Earlier Friday, the Chargers lost a hard-fought five-set match to the Bulldogs of Wingate, who were also a Final Four team from a year ago. Each team took turns dominating the other throughout the match, after a narrow 28-26 win by Wingate in the opening set. Hillsdale blew out the Bulldogs 25-17 in set two, only to get routed itself 25-13 in set three.
The most encouraging set of the day came in set four, when the Chargers rallied from an 18-12 deficit to post a 25-21 win, forcing a fifth set. Wingate won the final frame, 15-7.
Kostrzewa, a middle hitter who has battled injuries throughout her career, recorded the first three kills of the match on her way to an 11-kill, six-block performance. Her five kills in the first set alone was enough for a single-match career high in that category.
McPetdridge, a right-side hitter, got stronger as the match progressed, finishing with a career-high 12 kills. By means of comparison, McPhetridge had a total of 13 kills in her entire two-year career before Friday's season opener.
Junior Alexis Waugh came in with 33 assists versus Wingate, while sophomore Marissa Owen dished out 19 assists, which tied a career-high. Junior Bailey Lindner joined the AVCA 30-dig club in her first outing, leading the team with 30 digs on the day.