The 2017 version of the Hillsdale College volleyball team is etching its names with some of the greats reflected in its numerous banners that hang in the Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena. The Charger added a little bit to that impressive body of work Sunday afternoon.
Playing a shorthanded Trevecca Nazarene squad, Hillsdale earned a 3-0 win, improving its overall record to 24-3 and 14-2 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
Hillsdale will now face the University of Findlay to decide the 2017 regular season championship Friday night at home at 7:00.
The Chargers won Sunday's sets by scores of 25-10, 25-17 and 25-19. But give full credit to the Trojans, who played hard throughout the match despite missing a number of players. Trevecca was very good defensively, especially in the second and third sets when it forced the Chargers to work hard for their points. The Trojans led 17-16 in the third set, but Hillsdale made a late push and won the match with a set-ending 9-2 run.
Trevecca's team hitting percentage improved throughout the match. Hillsdale dominated set one, holding the Trojans to a mark of -.059, but Trevecca responded by hitting .121 in set two and .220 in set three. Trevecca had 10 kills before committing its first hitting error in set three.
One difference in the match was Hillsdale's serve, which was aggressive and productive. The team had nine service aces, with two each coming off the arms of Allyssa Van Wienen, Jackie Langer and Paige VanderWall. The Chargers committed just four service errors and had only two serve receive errors, giving it a net three points in serving on the match, a number any team would be satisfied with.
The Chargers used the entirety of their roster in the match, experimenting with different lineup combinations throughout. Sophomore Taylor Wiese was steady as ever in the back row, leading the team with 19 digs. VanderWall added 11 digs while setters Lindsey Mertz and Taylor Bennett each had 7 digs.
Van Wienen was awesome once again in the front row with 11 kills and a .524 hitting percentage. Langer delivered some punishing kills, and had 10 along with her two aces and three digs. Bennett (23) and Mertz (21) combined for 44 assists in the win, as Hillsdale hit .407 as a team.