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: Winona State Qualifying for the Conference with two wins

Pronob Kumar
Volleyball match between Winona State vs Northern State University on Nov. 4, 2023, at McCown Gymnasium, Winona MN moments after winning the game. The Warriors were trying to secure the home games.

The Winona State University volleyball team secured two home match victories last week, resulting in their qualification for the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference with the two matches in hand. If they win one more match, they will be able to maintain their position at number five in the rankings and bring the conference games to home.

On Nov. 3 Winona State achieved a 3-1 victory against Minnesota State University, Moorhead. In the first set of the match, Minnesota State Moorhead managed to outsmart the Warriors to take an early lead.

This early lead was maintained by Minnesota State Moorhead till the end of the match. Two block errors by Taylor Pagel and four service errors by the Warriors gave the dragons the upper hand in the match.

With the way the match started it seemed as though the match would be the biggest upset for Winona State this season. Even so, they had to wait for another match to confirm that they were qualifying for the conference.

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At the start of the second set, the situation seemed similar to the first. The Dragons took an early lead of three points. Winona State began to recover by a small margin afterward, but was struggling with a lack of coordination between Lydia Lange and Pagel.

The game changed when Winona State’s defensive specialist Rylee Vaughn stepped up to serve. Six points came from her service and two of them were service aces. The Warrior’s head coach Joe Getzin played an important role in the thick of the match by making a successful play review which dropped the pace of Minnesota State Moorhead.

After this turning point in the match, the host team gained some extra confidence and maintained the lead for the remaining time. The set finished with a score of 25-19 and a Warrior win.

The third set of the match started with some soft serves from Winona State setter Jaci Winchell.

However, the real beauty of this match was in the smashes from outside hitter Gianna Vollrath.

“We had different rotations depending on who was on the other side of the net,” Vollrath said.

The set ended with Winona State scoring six points in the end and making the score 25-20. Minnesota State Moorhead attempted to deliver some tricky shots, but they would ultimately fail.

In the fourth set of the match, Winona State displayed their ultimate strength through the blocking abilities of the right side. 5’11” tall Sidney Paulson and 6’1” Pagel are like an unbreakable wall.

“We have a pretty good block and I think we do a pretty good job with that.” Getzin said.

“We do practice against certain defenses,” Paulson said. “We knew what kind of defense they ran, so we’ll practice that. And I think we just have the mentality to make a play.”

The set ended at 25-20 with another Warrior win, officially assuring their spot in the conference.

The second match of Winona State was against Northern State University. This match was significant for Winona State as they were having a fourth year recognition day.

From the first set, Winona State was desperate for points, but Northern State held the match at their end. The match was on their side till the score was 22-17 when first year Kenna Kornely came out as savior from them. Kornely was able to achieve a kill and two service aces, turning the game towards the side of Winona State.

Kornely is a Defensive Specialist and an Outside Hitter which is a unique combination and gives the team an advantage in their formation.

“I have to be consistent all around which can be a struggle sometimes,” Kornely said. “But if I’m struggling in one spot like defense, I’m gonna really try and pick up my offense so just kind of like bringing all those components together.”

While Northern State scored a point, Paulson turned the game around. She gained three back to back kills which brought the score to 24-23, shooting the Warriors into the lead. The set ended with an impressive service ace by Vaughn.

In the second set, the match was neck in neck until Northern State took control at 10-9. Winona State attempted but could not recover the large margin of points which resulted in a Northern State win.

In the third set, Winona State managed to reverse the results of the last match. They scored seven points straight and brought the score to 13-6.

Northern State could not recover the gap of points and the set ended early when the Warriors scored five points straight, the set ending at 25-16.

In the fourth and final set, Winona State closed the match with a few typical Warrior service aces paired with attack errors from the opponent, leaving the score at 25-20 and taking the game for their own. With that, they hold the fifth position in the rankings right now, bumping Northern State down to sixth.

The Warriors will pack up and travel away from home, their first stop being Southwest Minnesota State University on Nov. 10 and then to the University of Sioux Falls on Nov. 11.

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About the Contributor
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.

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