Playing at home to start a season ought to offer a team some advantages. But the way the Hillsdale College volleyball team performed this weekend, it would have been successful no matter the venue.
The Chargers won the tournament they hosted this weekend at the Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena, sweeping both Glenville State and Saginaw Valley State Saturday afternoon to finish the weekend 4-0. The University of Findlay also went 4-0, but lost more sets across the four matches (three) than the Chargers (two). Hillsdale lost the first two sets of the Thursday night match against Michigan Tech, then went on to win the next 12 sets in a row.
In Saturday's early match, the Chargers' depth was on display in a 25-21, 25-15, 25-16 win over Glenville State. A lineup made up of backup players had a team hitting percentage of .357, with eight different players registering at least two kills.
Sophomore Emily Lachmann led the offense with a career-high 11 kills, and had an impressive .476 hitting percentage and 10 digs, good for her first career double-double. She added three service aces for good measure in a fine all-around performance.
Junior setter Taylor Bennett directed the offense to the tune of 21 assists, five kills, a .714 hitting percentage and three digs. Junior middle hitter Christine Siddall was dominant at the net, with five of her eight kills coming on overpasses from the Pioneers.
In Saturday's late match, the Chargers returned to their conventional lineup in a dominant 25-13, 25-12, 25-15 win over SVSU. The Cardinals were limited to a team hitting percentage of .034 and Hillsdale shredded SVSU's serve reception defense to the tune of 10 service aces, led by freshman Lindsey Mertz's career-high four.
Junior Paige VanderWall pounded out eight kills with a .389 hitting percentage, along with four digs, three total blocks and three service aces. Junior Kara Vyletel and freshman Allyssa Van Wienen each had 11 kills to lead the offense, while sophomore libero Taylor Wiese finished off a strong weekend with 14 digs.