The Chargers had a road trip and another winning weekend in their matches against the Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers and the Trevecca Nazarene Trojans. On Tuesday, the Chargers faced the University of Findlay Oilers and won, seizing the number one spot in the G‑MAC North Division.
On Friday, the Chargers took on the Panthers and lost their first match 17 – 25, ending the set with only seven kills. The second set marked a fresh start for the Chargers and they took quick advantage over the Panthers, winning the second set 25 – 17. The following two sets buried the Panthers, the Chargers never letting them reach over 15 points.
The Chargers ensured this victory with junior Karoline Shelton’s 17 kills and 10 digs as well as freshman Alli Wiese’s 20 digs. Last week, Wiese was named G‑MAC player of the week for the second week in a row and now leads the Great Midwest in digs per set. Her current average is 5.58.
This week, Shelton was named the G‑MAC player of the week for her position as an outside hitter. Now, Shelton is fourth in points per set (4.35), fourth in the conference in kills per set (3.80), and seventh in digs (3.88).
“Competition-wise, this weekend showed us how much the conference has grown.” Senior Maggie Deporre said. “Each week in practice we are constantly communicating on how this or that will help us in the upcoming match.”
On Saturday, the Chargers brought the Trojans to the court and laid them to rest there four sets later. The Chargers maintained a steady grip on the Trojans in every set except the third, where they lost to the Trojans by only a two-point margin due to nine attack errors.
Senior setter Lindsey Mertz had 42 assists in this match, helping aid senior middle hitter Allyssa Van Wienen’s 16 kills. Shelton contributed 15 kills and senior Maddie Clark added 10 kills. Wiese returned with her defense, supplying the Chargers with 20 more digs to end the weekend.
“I think losing that set, but coming back and winning the match is a testament to how well we are able to bounce back from adversity.” Shelton said. “It also was an eye-opener that showed us that just going through the motions will not win us matches.”
This weekend placed the Chargers at 4 – 0 in G‑MAC play and set them up for a match against the University of Findlay on Tuesday, who is also undefeated in G‑MAC play.
In the match against the Oilers, the Chargers took the game in three sets, 25 – 19, 25 – 15, 26 – 24. The Chargers finished the match with 15 total blocks from players including Van Wienen, Clark, DePorre, and sophomore Maizie Brown. Shelton finished the match with 14 kills and Clark with 11.
The defensive play featured Wiese and senior Madie Schider’s 10 digs accompanied by sophomore Audrey Riley’s nine digs. The Chargers ended Tuesday with 11 – 2 overall and 5 – 0 in G‑MAC play.
“There are other great players on other teams who are going to score on us, but we’ve got to only give up one or two points at a time.” Head Coach Chris Gravel said. “We’re working on being able to set our middles and work our pins effectively.”
The Chargers head to Ohio for this weekend’s matches against the Lake Erie College Storm and the Ursuline College Arrows.
“We’re getting closer to finding our flow.” Gravel said. “We’re not really at our best yet, but we are close.”