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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Women’s Volleyball: Race Towards the NSIC Qualifier

Hayley Niewohner
On the bench going over a play, teammates listen in intently.

Winona State University began climbing their way toward the top of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) conference with two wins this week against the University of Minnesota Crookston, and Bemidji State University. The Warriors moved to the fifth position jointly with Northern State University with eight wins.

In the first match of the week the Warriors traveled to Crookston to face the Golden Eagles and won the match 3-0. The host, Crookston, did well in all three sets and scored the first points, but Winona State managed to take hold of the game.

On the first set, it seemed as though Winona State was studying their opponent but after Minnesota Crookston scored three points, the Warriors returned to the game with two points of their own.

The entire first set was a neck-to-neck match. Both teams maintained equal points most of the time, but the host felt just short at the end, while the Warriors scored three points in a row.

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Winona State really began to dominate in the second set, taking the lead after both teams reached ten points. Minnesota Crookston attempted to get back in the game but with the assist of Jaci Winchell, Winona State’s outside hitters scored a few easy points with some impressive smashes.

In the third set, the Warriors turned the game in their favor after Minnesota Crookston took the lead at fourteen. Scoring seven points straight, they reached 24 points where Jayda Berg would finish strong with a hit assisted by Ashlyn Steding, closing out the away match with a score of 25-15.

After this match, Winona State sits at eleven wins in a row against Minnesota Crookston, maintaining this streak since 2014.

Winona State lost their last week match with a close margin in all the sets. They recovered from their panic with this match.

“I think the sense of urgency was lacking towards the end of all the sets,” Gianna Vollrath, a Warrior middle blocker and outside hitter said. “I think we just had to make a few more key plays.”

Winona State’s journey did not stop on Friday as they would take to the road again to Bemidji. Before this match, Winona State had a 17-match winning streak against Bemidji State and would move it to 18 by taking the win 3-0.

In the first set, Winona State had an outstanding start with a large lead of nine points. Bemidji State would attempt to keep up, but they could not manage to recover from the huge lead. The match was taken by Winona State at 25-18.

Sidney Paulson and Winchell dominated from the right side of the court. Paulson gave a consistent performance in every match for the team.

“The secret of consistent performance is to focus on one point or skill at a time,” Paulson said. “I try to break things down to the basics and really support my teammates.”

Two service errors from Winona State and four from Bemidji State were made, which had a big impact on this set.

In the second set, Bemidji State reached for a strong start and scored two points but the response from Winona State was a comeback with five points in a row.

Winona State continued the lead until they scored 18 points but with three back-to-back points Bemidji State would take the lead again with a score of 19-18.

Losing the lead of the match forced Winona State into a state of intensity and gained five points, officially taking the game out of the hands of Bemidji State. This set ended with a score of 25-22 with a Warrior win.

In the third set, both teams tried their best to score each point. The host made five service errors which gave the Warriors a huge advantage. With the help of that Winona State maintained their lead the entire set and finished the match at 25-21.

Winona State has six NSIC matches left for the season and among them, four of the matches are at home. In order to qualify, they must win all of their remaining matches, and if this past weekend was of any indication, they have quite the high probability.

Winona State will keep their feet planted on home ground, going on to face the University of Minnesota Duluth on Oct. 25, at 6:00 p.m. and St. Cloud State University on Oct. 28, at 2:00 p.m.

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About the Contributors
Pronob Kumar
Pronob Kumar, Sports Reporter

Pronob Kumar (he/him/his) is a sports reporter for The Winonan and started in the Fall of 2022. He is now a photographer as well. Kumar is currently a second-semester Sophomore at Winona State University majoring in Applied Computer Science and minoring in Mathematics and Physics.

In addition to working for The Winonan, Kumar is also a student employee on the IT Infrastructure team at Winona State University. He is also a tutor at the Library and a teaching assistant at the CS department. He is also the International Orientation Leader at the International Office and Orientation leader for WSU.

Outside of school, Kumar loves to play Chess. He was an under-18 national team chess player in his country. He also likes to cook food and go hiking with his friends. He enjoys drawing pictures and likes to tour different places.

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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