It was a fun home opener for the Hillsdale College volleyball team Thursday night.
Just about every player on the roster got significant court time as the Chargers beat Ohio Valley University 3-0 before a huge crowd at Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena. The win makes the Chargers 3-2 overall and 1-0 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. OVU is now 2-1.
With a packed and vocal student section behind them, the Chargers played with high energy, particularly late in each set when they pulled away from the Fighting Scots all three times. Hillsdale finished the first set on a 16-2 run, winning 25-12. Set two was more tightly played, with Hillsdale winning 25-16. Set three saw the Chargers score 14 of the match's final 16 points, winning 25-12 to finish off the sweep.
All four of the team's freshmen - Karoline Shelton, Maggie DePorre, Samantha Malcolm and Emma Noskey - all got plenty of rotations in durinhg the match, and each had some nice moments throughout. Shelton put down 5 kills and had 2 digs while only playing in set three. Four of Shelton's five kills came in the set-ending 14-2 run.
DePorre had two kills in her collegiate debut, while Malcolm and Noskey each notched kills in their first-ever home match as Chargers.
Senior Kara Vyletel only played in the first two sets, but was a dominating force, hitting .636 while generating 14 kills with no errors. She averaged 7 kills per set and was unstoppable on both good sets from Taylor Bennett and Lindsey Mertz, as well as on overpasses.
Hillsdale hit .400 as a team in the match, highlighted by a .485 mark in the third set. Ohio Valley hit .095, committing 17 errors with 25 kills in the match.
Mertz had 26 assists while sharing setting duties with Bennett, who had 8 assists and 5 digs. Junior libero Taylor Wiese added 11 digs and 3 service aces. Hillsdale had 8 aces as a team in the win.