Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Winona State Volleyball Takes Loss from Southwest Minnesota State

Hayley Niewohner
Number 1, second year Anna Hennessy serving the ball.

On Saturday, Oct. 14, fans, students, and parents gathered in the McCown Gymnasium to watch Winona State Women’s Volleyball compete against Southwest Minnesota State (SMSU), ranked seventh in southwest Minnesota, play head-to-head in our homecoming game. Although both teams fought their hardest, SMSU took the lead throughout the afternoon.

The first match ended in a tight loss of 21-25, as did the second. The Warriors put up a commendable fight during the last match, achieving a closer call with an end score of 22-25. This fetched another win for Southwest Minnesota State. As fourth-year libero Rylee Vaughn stated in an interview, “We played hard, we played well, we just didn’t execute in the last bullet.”

Although the ledger holds a loss for the Warriors, the stats show that WSU’s Women’s Volleyball team put on an excellent show regardless.

As a team, WSU gained 44 hits throughout the afternoon, just one hit behind SMSU. They also reached 130 assists while SMSU had 126. Even further, WSU captured four blocks, just three below their competition of the afternoon.

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Not only did WSU compete well as a team, but they also worked hard individually.

Fourth-year right side player Sidney Paulson smashed it on the court with 14 kills, landing more kills than any other player during the game.

Both second-year setter Jaci Winchell and third-year outside hitter Kylie Welch snuck through one ace each during the game in the afternoon.

Freshman Sofifia Armstrong was a blocking machine, putting up no less than three blocks and earning the most blocks of the game.

Similarly, Winchell boosted the team with a whopping 33 assists, making her the most assisting member of the team that afternoon.

As a multitude of interviews revealed the unanimous of both players and coaches: fans were a huge aspect of the game.

When asked her favorite part of playing volleyball this homecoming weekend, Paulson responded, “[the best part is] just the atmosphere. And the whole anticipation leading up to the game. It’s all the best part about playing over homecoming weekend!”

Head coach Joe Getzin also commented, “I think anytime we have a good crowd, it is fun.” A good game takes more than the players on the court – it takes a packed house of fans and all their energy. If this game is to be any indication, this is one thing that WSU does best.

Fresh after the game on Saturday afternoon, two fourth-years were asked the question, “What has been your favorite memory playing volleyball for Winona State these past four years?” Vaughn replied, “I think just overall the bus rides. And just being able to blast music. Building a team chemistry.”

The comradery of Winona States teams has always been selling point for students, both old and new, and the volleyball team is no exception to such a familial environment.

Though, the individual experiences of players and the utilization of their skills also make for good memories of the team, as Paulson also replied, “It was my sophomore year, and we were in the championship conference tournament. But the game before that, we played against Augustina State University and that was my favorite game I’ve ever played.”

The WSU Women’s Volleyball will take to the road for their next two games but will land back at home on Oct. 25 at 6pm against University of Minnesota Duluth.

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About the Contributor
Hayley Niewohner
Hayley Niewohner, Sports Photographer
Hayley Niewohner (She/her/hers) is a Sports Photographer for the Winonan and started in the fall of 2023. Niewohner is a first year at Winona State University majoring in Nursing. This is Niewohner's first year in anything for publication, but she has many years of experience taking pictures during sporting events in high school.
In addition to working for the Winonan, Niewohner is a Desk Assistant in Sheehan hall.
Outside of the Winonan, Niewohner loves spending time with friends outdoors, lifting in the gym, trying out local coffee shops, going to concerts, and watching sporting events. She also enjoys cooking, making chocolate, and doodling.

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