The Hillsdale College Chargers are still perfect. Beating two G‑MAC teams this past weekend extended the Chargers’ conference winning streak to 11.
Hillsdale began with Kentucky Wesleyan University on Friday. Though the team handled the Panthers in three sets, head coach Chris Gravel said he felt his team could have played better.
“Kentucky Wesleyan didn’t have their best match and neither did we,” Gravel said. “We were able to get the victory. We did have a lot of people contribute to the win.”
Sophomore defensive specialist Madie Schider agreed with her coach.
“The game overall was not our best play,” Schider said. “A lot of the time we were not as focused as we should have been and made many mistakes that could’ve been controlled.”
The Chargers focused on tough serving to keep Kentucky Wesleyan out of system.
“We focused on shutting down their stronger hitters,” sophomore outside hitter Maddie Clark said. “To do that we kept them out of system by serving aggressive. One of our team goals against Kentucky Wesleyan was to get two aces per set and we did.”
After defeating the Panthers, Hillsdale played Trevecca Nazarene University on Saturday.
“We played well, served tough, passed well, hit well, defense was solid,” Gravel said. “They made some big plays. But, at this stage in the season, we were too much for them.”
The Chargers focused on the same strategy against TNU as they implemented against KWU.
“One of our team goals was to serve aggressively and keep Trevecca out of system,” Clark said. “Serving aggressive is definitely one of our main focuses going into all of our games.”
The Chargers dominated the Trojans in the first two sets, defeating them 25 – 13 and 25 – 8. Trevecca bounced back in the third set, however, but Hillsdale squeaked out a 26 – 24 win to sweep the match.
“It was a fun game to play,” Shider said. “Especially in the second set we all gelled nicely and got the task at hand done. Trevecca frustrated us by getting close in the third set, but we were able to pull through. We all had trust in each other that we would get the game done.”
Hillsdale will now travel to Indianapolis, Indiana for the Midwest Region Crossover on Friday and Saturday. Gravel said it’s one of the biggest weekends of the season.
“We play the region’s best. Right now, the best team in the region is Drury and we play them first on Friday,” Gravel said. “We play, later on in the day, Lewis who was first in the region last year.”
The matches at the Crossover have the potential to heavily affect the Charger’s postseason standings.
“They could really set us apart or really put us behind the eight ball,” Gravel said “But, it doesn’t affect conference standings. So in that sense, we just play hard, have fun, and let everything else take care of itself.”