Until Friday night, the Hillsdale College volleyball team had never even practiced on its brand-new home court inside Jesse Philips Arena.
After playing two matches there this weekend, consider the Chargers comfortable in their new digs.
After dispatching Malone University in four sets Friday night, Hillsdale played one of its best all-around team matches of the season in a 3-0 win over Walsh University Saturday afternoon. The win improves the Chargers to 7-8 overall and 4-3 in GLIAC play.
The Chargers easily set a season-high with a .358 team hitting percentage in the match. The team's offense, engineered by setters Marissa Owen and Alexis Waugh, ran smooth to the tune of just two hitting errors in the match's first two sets. Hillsdale defeated Walsh 25-8, 25-14 and 25-19.
For the match, Hillsdale hammered down 39 kills against just five hitting errors, which were seven fewer than they had committed in any match this season. The team's previous season-best in team hitting percentage was .268 at Ohio Dominican Sept. 27.
One of the best stories on the team has been the play of junior middle hitter Lindsay Kostrzewa. She's been ravaged by knee injuries throughout her career, but has come on and become a major contributor in the middle for the team this year. Against Walsh, she recorded her first career zero-error match, picking up 10 kills, one solo block, seven block assists and a career-high .714 hitting percentage.
Senior Caitlin Kopmeyer moved out of the libero position for this match and was unstoppable on offense, leading the team with 13 kills, one error, a .400 hitting percentage, and seven digs.
Owen led the team with 14 assists and two aces, while Waugh delivered 13 assists.
Junior Meagan McPhetridge was a force at the net with five block assists, most of them teaming up with Kostrzewa in the third set. Owen, Kopmeyer and Bailey Lindner each had seven digs to lead the Hillsdale defense.
In the first two sets of the match, Hillsdale had 27 kills as a team against just two errors. The Chargers also held the Cavaliers to a team hitting percentage of .010 in the match.
Photo by Lyndsay La Course