Playing in a warm but freshly renovated Jesse Philips Arena, the Charger volleyball team opened a new era of sorts Friday night.
Hillsdale played on its brand-new game court for the very first time - practice included - and defeated Malone University 3-1 before a big crowd. The Chargers are now 6-8 overall and return to .500 in the GLIAC at 3-3. The team will host Walsh University for the first time Saturday afternoon.
The Chargers coasted to a 25-14 win in set one, but was tested more severely in the middle two sets, winning 25-20 and losing the third set 25-23. Malone jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the third set and withstood a late comeback by the Chargers.
Set four was a return to form of the first set for Hillsdale, as the team wrapped up the win with a 25-11 victory.
Sophomore middle hitter Haylee Booms teamed up with the team's setters to run its "quick" offense to near perfection when she was in the match. Booms had a season-high 12 kills and had a .476 hitting percentage for the Chargers. She also contributed two digs and three block assists for the winning team.
Sophomore Emily Wolfert performed the national anthem before the game. As good as her performance on the mic was, her performance on the court was even better, as she recorded a season-high 21 kills to lead the Hillsdale offense.
Freshman Kyra Rodi switched between setter and right-side hitter and was effective all over the court with eight kills, a .438 hitting percentage, and nine assists. Sophomore Alexis Waugh dished out 30 assists to lead the team, while sophomore Marissa Owen added 21 assists and 10 digs.
Sophomore Jenalle Beaman was very effective in limited duty, getting six kills with no errors and a .462 hitting percentage, along with seven digs. Senior Caitlin Kopmeyer led Hillsdale with 25 digs and had seven kills against just one error.