A long, late-season road trip didn't dull the sharp edge the Hillsdale College volleyball team has played with throughout most of the 2019 season.
The 13th-ranked team in NCAA Division II, the Chargers were brutally efficient in recording a 3-0 sweep over Trevecca Nazarene University Friday night in Nashville. The win makes Hillsdale 18-3 overall and 7-0 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
Hillsdale won the three sets by scores of 25-15, 25-16 and 25-19. The Trojans got out to a 5-1 lead in the third set, but the Chargers quickly reversed that trend, re-taking a good lead by the set's 18th point (11-7) and never looking back.
Offensive balance was a key factor in tonight's Charger win, and it started right from the opening set. Seven different players recorded kills in set 1, setting the tone for this match. By the end, five different players had 6 or more kills, making it nearly impossible for the Trojans, a very good defensive team, to account for all the weapons at Hillsdale's disposal.
In addition to the balance, the Chargers had a team hitting percentage of .371 in this match, compared to .176 for the Trojans. Coming into Friday's match, Trevecca had been allowing opponents a hitting percentage of .161, second in the conference to Hillsdale. The Chargers obliterated that statistic thanks to some big swings from two of their strongest players.
Junior Allyssa Van Wienen returned to action and didn't miss a beat with a team-high 13 kills and a .522 hitting percentage. She hadn't played since October 19, but showed no rust and got stronger as the match went along.
Sophomore Maggie DePorre has been playing with more confidence and aggressiveness recently, and that showed again in this win. She powered her way to 10 kills and a .533 hitting percentage, with her 10 kills coming on just 15 attempts.
Junior setter Lindsey Mertz was the key to this diverse attack with 38 assists, while senior Taylor Wiese led the Chargers with 16 digs. Hillsdale had 7 service aces - led by Shelton's 3 - and no reception errors as a team.
PHOTO: Camryn Olson