By Alyssa Grevenkamp
The University of Findlay women’s volleyball team had a long trip to Michigan to take on Lake Superior State and Northwood over the weekend. The Oilers made the most of the trip, heading back to Findlay with two wins in the books.
After coming off a loss to Ashland the week before, UF Head Coach Wick Colchagoff had his team prepare for the weekend going over key details in practice during the week.
“Our main focus on the weekend was to continue to run an efficient offense while also improving our defense,” said Colchagoff. “In practice, we worked on swing blocking and our defensive intensity after the Ashland game.”
Those aspects the Oilers worked on seemed to pay off. The team won the first match of the weekend over Lake Superior State. They took the match 3-0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-17).
Lake Superior was no match for Findlay as the Oilers destroyed them in almost every aspect of the game.
The Oilers offense was efficient and balanced as it hit .472 in the match Friday evening.
Junior Hannah Tong lead the offensive attack for the Oilers and she ended up with 10 kills and four aces. Freshman Amanda Winner wasn’t far behind Tong as she did her fair share having nine kills, two aces, three digs, and three blocks. Sophomore Nickyla Garverick and senior Julie Lyons also chipped in eight kills each.
Freshman Hailee Olson dished out 34 assists on the night. Sophomore Madison McCabe had five aces as well.
Findlay’s offense was explosive in the first match, which has been the key for them for most of this season so far.
“Rebecca Shoemaker is a key for starting our offense as she’s one of the best passing libero’s in the nation. Our primary hitters contributed during the weekend; Hannah Tong, Amanda Winner, Nickyla Garverick, Julie Lyons, and Andrea Roach. And Hailee Olson is distributing the ball very well and is one of the reasons we lead the GLIAC in kills and hitting percentage,” said Colchagoff.
In the match against Northwood, Findlay got off to a slow start dropping the first game to the Timberwolves 22-25.
“We did not match the intensity of Northwood during the first half of the first set,” said Coach Colchagoff.
After the first game loss, the Oilers took the next three games (27-25, 25-21, 25-15) and did not look back.
“Once we brought our intensity level to a higher level we were able to overcome Northwood’s advantages,” said Colchagoff.
Once again, Tong and Winner were leading the way for the Oilers offense. Tong smashed 16 kills, while Winner smashed 11. Winner also added 10 digs to her stat column.
Lyons and Garverick contributed on both sides of the net for Findlay. Lyons ended up with six kills and six blocks, while Garverick had nine kills and seven total blocks.
Shoemaker led the team with 14 digs and three aces, while Olson dished out 46 assists, 10 digs, and seven blocks.
“Our total team balance on offense is one key that separates this team from teams in the past. The other is that this team is very dedicated to being a team in every sense of the word,” said Colchagoff.
The Oilers improve their record after the two wins over the weekend to 9-3 and 3-1 in GLIAC play. Findlay hosts Michigan Tech Friday at 7 p.m. in Croy gymnasium.