The Hillsdale College volleyball team played on the road for the fifth time in five GLIAC matches Tuesday night, and despite playing hard and well for long stretches, were unable to knock off the defending conference champions.
The Chargers fell to 5-8 overall and 2-3 in the GLIAC in a 3-1 loss to Northwood University in Midland. Hillsdale's lone set win came in the second frame by a 25-22 score. The Timberwolves (8-5, 3-2) won their sets by scores of 25-19, 25-16 and 28-26.
Each set was evenly played early on, with Northwood picking up late scoring runs to close out the first two sets it won. But the fourth set was a volleyball classic, with both teams trading heavy punches at one another with the strengths of their team.
Northwood held a 24-21 lead in the fourth set when the Chargers went on a startling 4-0 run, fighting off match points with each point of their own, pushing the set into "extra time." From there, the teams traded points until Northwood edged Hillsdale out 28-26. The Timberwolves were led by the 2012 GLIAC Player of the Year, Juliia Pakhomenko, who had 31 kills, carrying the bulk of the offensive workload for the team in the match.
Hillsdale tied a season-high as a team with 16 total blocks in the match, and leading the way was junior Lindsay Kostrzewa. She matched career-highs with two solo blocks, seven block assists, and threw in 11 kills with an outstanding .417 hitting percentage to be the Chargers' most consistent offensive weapon in the match. This performance is three days after she set a career-high with 13 kills in a 3-0 sweep of Tiffin.
Sophomore Emily Wolfert led Hillsdale's offense with 16 kills, second-most she's had in a match this season. Sophomore Haylee Booms was productive up front for Hillsdale with five block assists in three sets played.
Hillsdale will finally play at home this weekend, in its freshly renovated Jesse Philips Arena, hosting Malone Friday at 7 p.m. and Walsh at 2 p.m. Saturday.