The Hillsdale College Chargers won the G‑MAC Championship for the third year in a row after a win versus Tiffin in the final conference game of the season. The Chargers finished the season with a record of 27 – 3 and haven’t lost a game in the conference since 2017. Hillsdale earned an automatic berth in the NCAA DII Midwest Regional with the win. The Chargers moved up a spot in the national ranking now holding the number 10 position and breaking the top 10 for the first time this season.
Chris Gravel was awarded Coach of the Year honors at the G‑MAC conference awards presentation for his outstanding leadership of a Chargers team that proved to be a contender for national competition.
Junior Allyssa Van Wienen was named G‑MAC Player of the Year after an extremely impressive season in which she helped lead her team to its third straight conference championship. Van Wienen, Lindsey Mertz, Taylor Wiese, Karoline Shelton, and Hannah Gates were all named first-team all-conference for their performances this season. Maggie DePorre received second-team all-conference honors for her contributions to the team this season.
Van Wienen was awarded G‑MAC Player of the Week honors for the seventh time on the season while senior Taylor Wiese was awarded G‑MAC Defensive Player of the Week honors for the fourth time this season. Van Wienen’s seven OPOW awards is the most in school history for any Charger volleyball player.
The Chargers beat the eighth-seed Malone University in the first round of the Championship with set scores of 28 – 26, 25 – 19, 23 – 25, and 25 – 21, respectively. The Chargers led Malone in almost all statistical categories with a .190 hitting percentage, 11 blocks, and 10 service aces. They tied Malone in digs with 90.
In the Conference semifinals, the Chargers faced Kentucky Wesleyan, the fourth seed in the conference. Hillsdale swept Wesleyan, winning the match in three sets. The Chargers won with set scores of 25 – 14, 25 – 21, and 25 – 9 respectively. The Chargers led in all statistical categories with a .243 hitting percentage, nine blocks, 60 digs, and six aces.
The Chargers entered the final round of the G‑MAC Conference Championship with a hefty number of wins under their belt and the goal of winning the championship for the third season in a row. The Chargers fell in a tough first set to Tiffin losing 26 – 28, but bounced back to win the next three sets with scores of 25 – 19, 25 – 13, and 25 – 20, respectively. The Chargers led Tiffin in hitting percentage with .243, blocks with 12, and digs with 92.
In the match versus Kentucky Wesleyan, the Charger defence stepped up and delivered a solid performance. Taylor Wiese finished the game with 19 digs, setting the all-time school record for digs with 2,141 in her career. She beat the previous record of 2,134 held by Megan Howard.
Karoline Shelton also put together an impressive match with 11 kills, 12 digs, and two block assists. Lindsay Mertz finished the match with 36 assists, two aces, and five digs.
In the match versus Tiffin, Junior setter Lindsey Mertz had 53 assists, 11 digs and two kills. Audrey Riley had 16 digs in the match while Madie Schider had 11. On the offense, Allyssa Van Wienen finished with 19 kills and a .471 hitting percentage, and three total blocks. Shelton finished the game 18 kills and 13 digs and a .314 hitting percentage, while senior Dani Jones had 10 kills.
The Chargers, having been ranked 10th in the country for a number of weeks and winning the G‑MAC Championship, were seeded second for the Midwest Regional Tournament. The Tournament will begin on Dec. 5 and will take place at Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill. The Chargers will face the 23 – 9 University of Indianapolis in the first round. Earlier in the season, the Chargers beat the University of Indianapolis in three sets.