Volleyball triumphs during weekend, ending 12-1

Mattie Slavin, sports reporter

The #11 Winona State Warriors’ volleyball team won, guns blazing, last Tuesday, Sept 21 against Minnesota State University-Mankato (MSU-Mankato). The Warriors won 3-0 at Taylor Center in Mankato, Minn.    

The Warriors finished the match with a .301 hitting percentage compared to the Mavericks 0.095. The Warriors totaled 52 kills compared to 17 by MSU-Mankato.  

Winona State dominated both offensively and defensively and racked up 66 blocks compared to the Mavericks’ 46. MSU-Mankato topped eight blocks compared to the Warriors’ three, while both teams remained even at two aces.  

During the first set of the night, the Warriors consistently led with MSU-Mankato putting up a good fight. Throughout the first set, long, intensive runs between the two teams kept the crowd on their feet, and the Warriors valiantly defended their spot on the top of the leaderboard most of the time. The Warriors won the set, 25-17.  

In the second set, The Warriors dominated again, scoring first. Winona State shared the ball among their teammates well to assist in scoring. Bre Maloney, a fourth-year setter, played a pivotal role in the sharing of the ball. Maloney ended the night with 40 assists.  

The Mavericks struggled to keep up and close the ever-widening score gap between their opponents. Fifth-year Megan Flom, fourth-year Madison Rizner and second-year Sidney Paulson racked up kills throughout the night. Rizner leads the team with 13 kills in the evening. The Warriors won the set, 25-14, with the largest difference being eleven points.  

The third set proved more difficult for the Warriors. At the start, the Warriors scored first, but MSU-Mankato slowly worked the court and began to score, entering the competition with more aggression. As the scores evened, the Warriors scored repeatedly; however, the Mavericks answered with their own streak of scores, forcing the Warriors to take their first timeout. Soon after the timeout, MSU-Mankato had two points taken away, and the Warriors were given a point because of a rotation error. This put the momentum back in the Warriors’ favor. The Mavericks kept fighting, but the Warriors kept a strong lead. The Warriors won the final set, 25-19.   

Becca Pagel, fifth-year libero, and Flom discussed how the team focused on what they can control and not let mistakes weigh them down during their matchup with MSU-Mankato.    

“We just knew that we had to focus on our side of the court,” said Flom said. “We focus on what we can do and execute at a high level.”  

“We were tentative in our last game,” said Pagel said. “[We] came in more aggressive and had a fire to win.”   

Coach Joe Getzin discussed how well the team handled a tough crowd and the aggressive start they had.   

“I was really pleased with the way the team handled [the] crowd,” said Coach Getzin said. “I think we did a really good job of coming out strong from the beginning.”  

Both Pagel and Flom agreed that the team had more fire during their matchup against MSU-Mankato.   

“Last night we started off pretty strong,” said Pagel said. “I think that’s why we were able to finish in three.”  

“We had confidence in ourselves and each other,” said Flom said. 

Going into the weekend, Coach Getzin discussed what the team will be focusing on.   

“One of our goals this season is to get one percent better every day we step in the gym,” said Coach Getzin said. “Focusing in on our side of the net and make sure we’re improving [what] we need to improve upon as we continue this journey.”  

Along with Coach Getzin, Pagel and Flom discussed that the team is focused on improving and staying mentally sharp.  

“We’ll just have to really continue to focus on the things we’re struggling with and improve those,” said Pagel said. “Making sure we’re prepared for the other team’s game plan.”  

“Working on the little things,” said Flom said. “Continuing our mental game to have confidence.”  

The Warriors went on to defeat both the University of Mary and University of Minot 3-0 this last weekend. The Warriors’ record is now 12-1 and 4-1 in the conference. Winona State will be playing in action again on Friday, Oct. 1 versus the University of Minnesota-Crookston in Crookston, Minn. The game will be live streamed on the NSIC website.