The Warriors volleyball team (15-12, 10-6 GLIAC) suffered a 3-2 loss on Nov. 10 to the Davenport Panthers (12-14, 8-7 GLIAC). The Warriors won set one, 25-21, and set two, 25-22 before dropping the last three sets to Davenport 25-23, 25-18 and 15-5 respectively.
WSU came out strong, but not as strong as usual said Head Coach Tim Koth.
“We did not have our normal energy,” Koth said.
The lack of energy could have something to do with the fact that two-time captain and senior, Hannah Moore, was out with a lower back injury.
Moore’s absence put pressure on other players to step up. Junior Hailey Richardson, who leads the GLIAC division with 204 kills, recorded two kills in the first set, seven in the second and three in the third to give her 12 kills total for the match. Richardson and freshman Natalie Breault worked as a pair throughout the night, Breault often setting up Richardson perfectly to score kills.
Breault may only be a freshman on the team, but she played like a seasoned vet. She set passes tight to the net all night, and managed to not only stay off the net but set the ball in perfect position for her teammates.
Breault’s other go-to on the night was freshman Julia Malewicz, who filled in for the injured Moore. Malewicz had big shoes to fill but she filled them and then some. Though a freshman and playing opposite of Richardson, she wasn’t hiding in her shadow. Malewicz finished the match with the team-high 16 kills.
The Warriors seemed to fall apart in the fourth set. Richardson and Malewicz were both getting blocked, something that had not happened in the match and the team’s defense was not as scrappy and solid as in the first three sets. Middle blocker Michelle Asiedu was the glue holding the Warriors together in this set, scoring nine of her ten kills.
The Warriors took a huge hit during the fourth set when Richardson went down with a rolled ankle.
“She is by far one of the best in conference, if not the best,” said Coach Koth. Although he was unsure of her status and whether she would be playing in the postseason he said, “It was very impactful losing her. You can’t replace that.”
WSU begins GLIAC tournament play on Nov. 15 against Grand Valley.