Winona State volleyball drops fourth straight, now 3-8 overall

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Dillon Hogan/Winonan

The Winona State University volleyball squad began conference play this week against Minnesota State in Mankato on Thursday and a Saturday home game against Concordia-St. Paul. Following a 1-4 weekend at Central Missouri, the Warriors were looking to get back on track in conference play.

Against Mankato, the Warriors unfortunately found themselves again on the losing side of three straight tough matches. In the first game, a back and forth battle between the Warriors and Mankato saw the Warriors lose 25-21.

The Warriors found themselves in similar situations in the second and third games as well, losing by scores of 25-19 and 25-18 for the straight sweep loss to Mankato.

Senior Bekah Saugen was the Warrior leader in kills with 8 total and junior Rachel Polland finished with the highest hitting percentage at .235. Also helping the Warriors was senior Elena Kruesel whose 12 assists led the Warriors. On the defensive side of the ball, Saugen was the only Warrior to record double digit digs and ended the match with 12.

The loss to Mankato dropped the Warriors to 3-7 overall and a 0-1 record in the NSIC.

When asked how the Warriors were addressing their problems this season, Polland said, “I feel the team is improving on utilizing all of our hitters in the front row. I believe the team needs to improve on stopping the other team’s runs by being more consistent in every aspect of the game such as blocking and passing. We are all very competitive in practice working hard to improve on blocking and speeding up our offense.”

The Warriors hosted second ranked Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday. A slow start doomed the Warriors in the first game as Concordia jumped ahead and never looked back, taking the first game by a score of 25-12.

Coming alive in the second game, the Warriors fought back in a heavily contested back-and-forth battle only to again fall to Concordia 25-19. The Warriors again fell behind early with a 15-8 deficit to rally and score seven of
the game’s next nine points and pulling within two points of Concordia who then ended the game with their own run for the win.

The third game was the same story with Concordia using a big start to take the game 25-14 to claim the match and give the Warriors another three game sweep. Senior Alli Glisch was the offensive star for the Warriors recording eight kills including a crucial kill on the Warrior run in the second game. Kruesel again led the Warriors in assists with thirteen followed by senior Kayla Uhlenhake dishing out six assists.

Winona State is now 3-8 overall and 0-2 in NSIC play. They return to action Tuesday, Sept. 24, in Fayette, Iowa against the Upper Iowa Peacocks at 7 p.m.

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