The Chargers volleyball team swept the Findlay University Oilers in three sets, a win that clinched the program’s fifth straight division title. After sweeping the Oilers, the Chargers now are 14 – 0 in G‑MAC play, clinching the outright G‑MAC North Division, and the top seed in the upcoming G‑MAC tournament.
In the first set, the Chargers found themselves at a 20 – 16 deficit, but rebounded quickly with the help of junior outside hitter Karoline Shelton who assisted in securing the 25 – 23 victory.
Shelton ended with 14 kills and 10 digs. It was her 15th double-double of the season, which earned her the G‑MAC North Division Offensive Player of the Week Award. It marks Shelton’s third such award this season, she is also the only player in the conference to win both an offensive and defensive player of the week award this season.
Shelton also sits just 16 kills away from being only the second player in program history to collect 1,000 career digs and 1,000 career kills.
The Chargers battled for the final two sets and emerged victorious. Senior setter Lindsey Mertz finished the match with 36 assists. Ending the match with 42 total kills and .214 hitting percentage, the Chargers narrowly beat the Oilers in the efficiency of their plays.
Where the Chargers only had one service error for the match, the Oilers had seven. The tightness of the score in all the sets, 25 – 23, 25 – 20, and 25 – 17, highlighted the importance of each individual point.
“We were very resilient towards the end of each set,” Head Coach Chris Gravel said. “Up to the twentieth point, it was more of a fight, but we always pushed through.”
The second set held a long intermission while scorekeeping issues were being dealt with. This delay prolonged the game and forced the players to adapt.
“I think our focus was tested during the second set when there was a 20 minute delay in which the online scorebook was not tracking correctly,” Mertz said. “These delays are often hard to play after, since it is easy to let the mind wander to places other than the match. However, it was a great opportunity for us to play through some adversity and show our resilience.”
Short term goals were what pushed the Chargers towards the finish line, Gravel said. Whether it was striving to serve as many points in a row or trying to gain the upper hand immediately after the intermissions, the Chargers focused on the match point by point until they won.
“Whether the floors needed to be wiped, someone’s shoe needed to be tied, or the scoreboard malfunctioned, we were very determined to get that next point as soon as the delay ended,” Senior middle hitter Alyssa Van Wienen said.
The Chargers are now 23 – 4 overall and are nearing the end of their season, which could be their fourth straight season staying undefeated in G‑MAC play. On Friday, the Chargers host the Lake Erie College Storm at home at 7 p.m., followed by Ursuline College Arrows at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The results of these matches will determine if the Chargers are able to host playoff tournaments at home.
“We’re having a lot of fun out there,” Gravel said. “It’s nearing the end of the semester, and school is picking up, but the energy is strong, especially with the home crowd’s energy.”