Volleyball Wins Again with Overall Record at 24-3

Mattie Slavin, Sports Reporter

Winona State Warriors dominated Minot State University at the Mc-Cown Gymnasium Friday, Nov. 5. The Warriors win their home game 3-0. The Warriors’ record is now 24-3 and 15-3 in the conference. (Mohammed Islam)

The #8 Winona State Warriors dominated Minot State University last Friday, Nov. 5. The Warriors took the match 3-0 at McCown Gymnasium in Winona, Minn.

The Warriors finished the evening with a .313 hitting percentage compared to Minot State’s .000. The Warriors dominated offensively, totaling 75 kills compared to Minot State’s 47. As for assists, the Warriors totaled 36 compared to 30 by Minot State. To top off their dominating offense, the Warriors tallied seven aces compared to their opponent’s three.

The Warriors had excellent play defensively, as well. The Warriors’ had 37 digs compared to Minot State’s 30. The Warriors totaled nine blocks compared to Minot State’s eight.

Winona State easily conquered the first set and were the first to strike. Although Minot State answered with a score of their own, the Warriors went on a seven-point scoring run that forced Minot State to take their first timeout of the evening. After the timeout,

the Warriors scored back-to-back. Minot State attempted to stay within reach, but the Warriors stayed consistent with another six-point scoring run, which forced Minot State to take another timeout. Coming right out of the timeout, the Warriors cruised with a four-point scoring run. Minot State attempted to stay in the game, but it was not enough. The Warriors won the set, 25-8.

Minot State took the first point of the second set, but the Warriors fired back with a five-point scoring run. Even though Minot State would answer with back-to-back scoring, the Warriors pushed back with a three-point scoring run. After Minot State’s consecutive scoring, the Warriors utilized their first timeout of the evening. Right out of the timeout, Minot was first to strike. The Warriors and Minot State would then go back and forth with scoring. After a string of scoring runs, the Warriors built themselves quite a lead. Minot State attempted to keep within the distance, but the Warriors were too much. The Warriors won the second set, 25-18.

The third set proved to be more of a challenge. Minot State snatched the first point of the set, but the Warriors answered immediately. The Warriors and Minot State would alternate scoring and runs. The Warriors decided to take a timeout after Minot State went on a three-point scoring run. After the timeout, the Warriors would score out the gate. Momentum was on the Warriors’ side as they went on a three-point run that forced Minot State to take a timeout. Following the timeout, the Warriors went on an impressive five-point scoring run to pull back the lead. Minot State attempted to fight back, but the Warriors remained resilient. The Warrior sealed the set 25-21.

Kami Knutson, third-year setter, had an impressive evening, leading the team with 16 assists and tallying five kills. Lydia Lange, second-year outside hitter, led the team with six kills and Caleigh Jensen, third-year outside hitter, racked up five kills. Casey Volkmann, a fourth-year defensive specialist, tallied six digs.

Becca Pagel, fifth-year libero, discussed how the team’s chemistry and resilience have improved since their last meeting with Minot State.

“Our serve and pass game has been a large focus,” Pagel said. “We faced a couple [of] losses in the middle of the season that allowed us to learn, work harder and realize we have much room for improvement.” Assistant coach Kristen Fisch discussed the team’s growth since their last meeting with Minot State.

“We’ve faced some adversities throughout the season, and the team is coming into this match with a much stronger foundation and core identity compared to the last time we played them,” Coach Fisch said.

Coach Fisch and Pagel talked about how this week the team took the games one at a time and focused on the challenges that lay ahead of them.

“All teams in our league are competitive, none can be over-looked,” Pagel said. “We are striving to protect our home court.”

“[We] are focusing on continuing to get better,” Coach Fisch said. “We are a few weeks away from when we want to be playing our best volleyball, so now our focus is on improving the little details of our game.”

As the playoffs quickly approach, the Warriors are focusing on the rest of their regular season.

“We are focusing on finishing out the five regular-season games we have left,” Pagel said. “Taking each of these five opponents seriously and making sure we are prepared for each match in order to put us in a solid position for [the] postseason.”

“Mentally we are focusing on being present, taking care of exactly what is in front of us,” Coach Fisch said. “Physically we are working to get better every day in order to peak at the right time.”

Earlier in the week, the Warriors defeated Minnesota State University-Mankato, 3-0. To finish out the busy week, the Warriors de- feated the University of Mary, 3-0, on senior night. Along with their undefeated week, Megan Flom, fifth-year hitter, recorded her 1,000 career kill.

The Warriors’ record is now 24-3 and 15-3 in the conference. The Warriors will be in action again versus the University of Minnesota-Moorhead in Moorhead, Minn. on Friday, Nov. 12. The game will be live-streamed on the NSIC website.