Step one on Hillsdale's postseaosn journey is complete.
The Chargers advanced in the 2018 Great Midwest Athletic Conference Tournament with a 3-0 win over Ursuline COllege Tuesday night at the Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena.
The win enables Hillsdale to host the tournament semifinals and finals this weekend, with matches slated for 5:00 and 7:30 Friday and 5:00 Saturday. This is the second year in a row Hillsdale will act as the G-MAC Volleyball Tournament host and number one overall seed.
The Chargers won the sets by scores of 25-11, 25-14 and 25-18. The win makes the team 23-6 overall on the season.
Senior setter Taylor Bennett took a starting role and performed at a high level, handing out 30 assists with 10 digs and 4 kills. She did a great job of working the ball around to several different players, keeping the offense unpredictable. Her four kills all came on "dumps," or backwards hits off nice passes from the defense. Bennett's play led to a smooth Charger offense that had a team hitting percentage of .366 in the win.
One indication of how good Hillsdale's offense was came from the fact that Ursuline had zero blocks as a team in the entire match. Court vision and the manner in which the Chargers attacked the Arrow defense led to that unusual, but telling statistic.
Four players had 5 or mor ekills, led by 8 from sophomore Allyssa Van Wienen. Freshman Karoline SHelton was terrific, with 7 kills, a .412 hitting percentage, 3 digs and a service ace. Senior Paige VanderWall played in just two sets and had 7 kills, 7 digs and a .353 hitting percentage.
The Chargers held a 57-45 advantage in team digs, led by 17 from junior Taylor Wiese. Sophomore Madie Schider was also active in the back row with 10 digs. The Chargers had 7 service aces as a team with Wiese leading the way with two.
PHOTO: Carly Gouge