It may have been fall break for the rest of campus, but the Hillsdale Chargers worked overtime this past weekend. The team took a road trip through Ohio, rolling past three G‑MAC foes to remain undefeated in the conference.
“We were still a little tired from the weekend before,” head coach Chris Gravel said. “Having these two weekends on the road and three matches on the weekend, it made it more difficult. But we were able to push through it so that’s good.”
Two weeks ago, the team went 0 – 3 against ranked Division II teams at the Midwest Region Crossover in Indianapolis. They were then back on the road within a few days. The Chargers started off the weekend at Tiffin University.
“We went into the game with the attitude that from here on out every game means something, every game matters,” sophomore middle hitter Allyssa Van Wienen said. “Our coach really emphasizes that the game of the day is the most important game of the season because it’s happening today. We just had that attitude throughout the whole game.”
This is the second time the Chargers saw the Dragons this season. And the team adjusted to shut down the hitters that gave them a hard time before.
“One of their players got their 1000th kill,” Gravel said. “They stopped the match for it, recognized her and stuff. She didn’t get too many kills after that.”
Hillsdale swept the Dragons 25 – 23, 25 – 22, and 25 – 17. They then traveled to Ursuline College.
“We came out really slow thinking we just had to show up,” Gravel said. “We were making a lot of errors to begin with. We were able to fight back and win that set.”
Gravel then put in a few of his more seasoned players.
“Dani Jones came in and put a sense of calmness out there,” Gravel said. “We were able to get to work and play more like ourselves.”
They ultimately defeated Ursuline in three sets, 25 – 17, 25 – 7, and 25 – 15. For the final match of the weekend, the Chargers traveled to Lake Erie College. The team came out strong but eased up a bit in the second set and lost 25 – 14.
“We got killed in set two,” Gravel said. “When you’re down 14 – 2, that’s hard to come back from.”
Hillsdale bounced back and ended up winning the match.
“They had good defense, but we were determined to fight through,” senior outside hitter Kara Vyletel. “Our defense was on point. We were able to stay in system and execute at a higher level on our side of the net.”
The Chargers are nearing the end of their season with just five games left in the regular season. They travel to Kentucky Wesleyan College and Trevecca Nazarene University this weekend.