Volleyball reedeems themselves after their first losing game

Left+to+right%3A+Cori+Meyers%2C+Bre+Maloney%2C+Madison+Rizner+and+Kate+Masberg+move+to+return+the+ball+against+Minnesota+State+University%2C+Mankato+on+Saturday%2C+Nov.+2+where+the+Warriors+came+out+victorious+scoring+3-1.+The+win+brings+the+teams+season+record+to+18+wins+and+five+losses.++

Natalie Tyler

Left to right: Cori Meyers, Bre Maloney, Madison Rizner and Kate Masberg move to return the ball against Minnesota State University, Mankato on Saturday, Nov. 2 where the Warriors came out victorious scoring 3-1. The win brings the team’s season record to 18 wins and five losses.

Syerah Mulhern-Allred, sports reporter

Winona State Warrior’s volleyball had a tough start on Friday for a two-game weekend with the one loss of the season so far against Northern State University in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) opener. The Northern State Wolves won 3-0 at the Warrior’s home court in McCown gymnasium.
The Warriors ended the game with a .220 hitting percentage versus a .276 for NSU. Both teams had about even kills, with NSU coming in at 49 and Winona State coming in right below at 48.
Overall, the Warrior’s defensive played a good effort with 61 total digs. Northern State still rang above with eight blocks against Winona State’s five and all six Aces.
Bre Maloney, a graduate student and fourth-year athlete from Roseville, Minn. led the team in assists with 42 on Friday night as well as eleven digs.
Among players who also had a successful night are fifth-year Megan Flom and Becca Pagel, fourth-year Casey Volkmann and Madison Rizner, third-year Madison Larson and second-year Lydia Lange and Sidney Paulson.
Flom led the team with 15 kills in the game, shortly followed by Larson with ten and Lange and seven. Rizner, who is a two-sport athlete, as she also excels in Track and Field during the spring, was top in blocks with four total, followed by Paulson and Flom with one each. Also on Friday, Pagel led with 20 digs and Volkmann with 12.
Overall, the team had a hard fight before losing their one game of the season so far, as well as the only NSIC game before moving into Saturday’s game against Minnesota State – Moorhead.
Pagel from Sumner, Iowa reflected on Friday’s game as she said, “They [Northern State] played a great game. We just never fully matched their level of play and execution.”
The Warriors quickly recovered in their second game of the weekend on Saturday against Moorhead Dragons, winning 3-0. This brings Winona State to a 9-1 season so far.
The team racked up a total of 48 kills and five blocks in their sixth 3-0 win of the season.
In some better averages on Saturday, the team put up a .462 hitting percentage, which is more than double what the Warriors were able to do on Friday against Northern State.
This is also the highest of the season so far, with the next highest being at the Ferris State Invitational against McKendree University at .354. The last time the team hit about a .400 was also against Moorhead two years ago.
The players continued to excel into Saturday as Maloney had 38 assists and Pagel had 19 digs. Flom, Paulson and Rizner all led in kills with 17, eight and seven, respectfully. Lange, Rizner and Flom also had two blocks each.
This week the Warriors hit the road on Tuesday, Sept. 19 to play Minnesota State University – Mankato Mavericks at their home court. The Mavericks are currently 7-3 overall and 2-0 in the NSIC conference, with a loss in the last game against Winona State back in 2019.
About the Mankato game on Tuesday, Pagel said, “We are fired up and know we need to play with more confidence and a ‘play to win’ attitude rather than a ‘play not to lose.’”
The team then heads west to play University of Mary on Friday and Minot State University on Saturday, both in N.D.
Winona State Warriors have never lost against University of Mary and haven’t lost a game against Minot State since 2014. All three games are available to stream on the NSIC website.