Volleyball loses twice, fails to make playoffs

Volleyball loses twice, fails to make playoffs

Lauren Lott, Sports Reporter

The Winona State women’s volleyball team had their season cut short as they loss their last two regular season matches against University of Sioux Falls and Southwest Minnesota State University.

The Warriors fought their way through a match against Sioux Falls Friday, coming back from a 2-1 deficit to force a fifth set in the match. They were unable to win the last set and ended in a loss with the scores of 25-23, 17-25, 16-25, 25-19, and 15-17.

This loss brought Winona State to a 13-14 (10-9 NSIC) record and put them into a four-way tie for one of the two final conference tournament spots.

Seniors Taylor Goar and Maria Wrage combined to record 21 kills and first-year Madison Rizner recorded a career-best 12 kills in the loss. The Warriors were playing without one of their top offensive players, Cori Meyers, who was sidelined due to an injury.

Wrage led the team with a career-best eight blocks. Sophomore Becca Pagel had a team-best 21 digs, while Bre Maloney recorded 49 assists, 12 digs and three kills.

Saturday, the Warriors faced off against Southwest Minnesota State University but were unable to come away with the win they were hoping for, falling in four sets with a score of 1-3.

Prior to the start of the match, Winona State honored their four seniors. Between them, the class had a four-year record of 81-39.

Winona State fought hard in this match, pushing the first set to extra points and hanging in tough with the last three ending in scores of 27-29, 25-23, 21-25, and 18-25.

Goar led the offense once again with a 33.3 attacking percentage, 16 kills and 15 digs. She ends her Winona State career ranked fifth in program history with 1,281 kills, 11th all-time with 1,336 digs and 11th with 114 career service aces.

Wrage recorded eight kills and had four of nine of the team’s blocks for the match. She finishes her Winona State career ranked ninth all-time in career block assists with 208.

Winona State’s season came to an end with a record of 13-15 (10-10 in NSIC competition) and, for the first time since 2013 did not making the conference tournament. Despite this season not ending in postseason games, the Warriors had three wins against AVCA Top-25 opponents this season and plenty of the underclassmen on their young team have played very well.

Sophomore Megan Flom had a breakout season with the Warriors and led the team in kills with 266, including 16 on Saturday against Southwest Minnesota State University. First-year Madison Rizner recorded a team-best 87 blocks over the season and ranked fourth with 160 kills. First-year Cori Meyers ranked third on the team with 199 kills this season as well.

Senior Taylor Goar was also recently named to the NSIC All-Conference Second Team. This is the third time Goar has earned All-NSIC recognition in her career after receiving First Team honors in 2015 and 2016. She was ranked second on the team this season in digs with 323, and third in kills with 192. On average, Goar was 3.10 kills per set over the last month of the regular season.