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Charger Volleyball Team Powers Through Tournament Quarterfinal

Emily Lachmann plays a roll shot during Hillsdale's G-MAC Quarterfinal win over Davis & Elkins. Photo by Todd Lancaster
Emily Lachmann plays a roll shot during Hillsdale's G-MAC Quarterfinal win over Davis & Elkins. Photo by Todd Lancaster

Box Score

The Charger volleyball team took care of business in its conference tournament quarterfinal match Thursday night.

Hillsdale College swept Davis & Elkins College 3-0 in the Great Midwest tournament first round at the Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena. The win, Hillsdale's 19th in a row, sets up a semifinal matchup with Walsh University at 7:30 Friday night.

The Chargers won the set scores over the Senators 25-17, 25-8 and 25-14. Hillsdale's doiminance was reflected in the teams' respective hitting percentage. The Chargers hit .330 against the Senators, while Davis & Elkins hit .000 (20 kills, 20 errors). 

Hillsdale was admittedly a bit tight starting postseason play in front of the home crowd, committing 8 hitting errors in the opening set. But by set 2, Hillsdale was in rhythm, leading 11-1 at one point, on its way to a 25-8 win. The Chargers hit .522 in that set and grabbed control of the match.

Head coach Chris Gravel was able to rotate everyone through the lineup, getting them some postseason experience. The offensive statistics were spread wide among most of the roster as a result.

Paige VanderWall, the conference player of the year, shared the team lead with 8 kills. She hit .417 and had 8 digs. Senior Jackie Langer was on target all night with 8 kills on 9 attempts, good for a career-best .889 hitting percentage for the Chargers. Freshman Allyssa Van Wienen had 7 kills and hit .600 for Hillsdale.

Freshman setter Lindsey Mertz looked like an experienced veteran instead of a postseason first-timer, as she had 30 assists for Hillsdale. Sophomore Taylor Wiese had 10 digs to lead a balanced defensive attack.

Findlay will play Lake Erie in the other semifinal Friday, scheduled for a 5 p.m. first serve.