When you make history, why not make a lot of history?
That was the approach of Hillsdale's All-American right side hitter Paige VanderWall, who had a night to remember in a 3-1 win over Cedarville University Tuesday night inside the Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena. The win makes Hillsdale 6-3 on the season and 3-0 in Great Midwest Athletic Conference play.
The Chargers steamrolled the Yellow Jackets 25-12 in the match's opening set. But Cedarville responded impressively in the second set, running its offense efficiently in a 25-23 win, tying the match at 1-1. Hillsdale pulled away late in a 25-21 win in set 3, and the Chargers were in command throughout set 4, a 25-17 victory.
VanderWall came into the match needing 10 kills to become the 10th player in school history to achieve 1,000 career kills. She blew that mark out of the water on her way to a career-high 23 kills on the night. VanderWall joined teammate Kara Vyletel as members of the 1,000 kill club this year. They are the second set of teammates in school history to be teammates while also being in the 1,000-kill club.
With more than a dozen family members in attendance, VanderWall was putting down attacks from all corners of the court. Even when she was in the back row, setter Lindsey Mertz was looking for her, and VanderWall delivered, to the tune of a .618 hitting percentage. Her 23 kills came on 34 attempts, with just 2 errors.
Mertz was terrific with her sets, dishing out 53 assists, a career-high in a four-set match. Mertz also had 8 digs and a pair of kills for the Chargers.
Junior middle hitter Hannah Gates displayed some power and quickness, setting a new season-high with 12 kills and a .409 hitting percentage. Sophomore Maddie Clark added 12 kills and also showed power with many of her swings from her outside hitter position.
VanderWall led the team with 11 digs while senior Taylor Bennett was very effective in a back row row, adding 10 digs while serving tough throughout her time on the court.