Volleyball hosts UW-Platteville Tourney


Shelby Le Duc

Andrea Larsen (5) serves an ace in a loss against Carroll College Sept. 6.

Inconsistent play, as well as the expected recovery of a key player, hung over the Pioneer volleyball team last weekend, who went 2-2 in four matches during the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Tournament.

The two-day tournament began on Friday, with the most tightly-contested match of the tournament for the Pioneers against Carroll University.

Carroll took the match 3-2 (23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 18-25, 14-16) as the Pioneers’ mistakes cost them dearly.

UW-Platteville racked up 41 attack errors and 14 service errors in the contest, which caused their 12-9 lead in the fifth set to slip away.

Six-foot tall sophomore Jennifer Schmidt racked up 21 kills in the defeat.

Senior Stephanie Kirchner, a First Team All-WIAC selection last season, is on the mend from an abdominal injury, and played only sparingly during the tournament.

The team has been patiently awaiting Kirchner’s return at the net, which is a valuable asset for the Pioneers’ offense.

The Pioneers bounced back in the second game on Friday, defeating Millikin 3-0.

This game was a performance highlighted by cutting down the errors, giving up just 12 points on errors during the match.

On Saturday, the Pioneers won the first match against Grinnell College 3-1 (25-14, 25-13, 25-22, 25-16).

In Kirchner’s absence, junior Leeann Mizgalski and Schmidt have taken on the scoring load for the Pioneers. Mizgalski proved she was up to the task as she amassed 13 kills in the match against Grinnell.

UW-Platteville was blanked against St. Norbert in the final match of the tournament, losing 3-0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-20).

The Pioneers were blown out in the first set, but were determined to redeem themselves in the following games.

In each set, the host team was unable to keep St. Norbert from any late rushes to close out the set.

Schmidt led the team by posting 13 kills against St. Norbert, tallying her fifth match in a row with double digit kills.

While UW-Platteville has had trouble with their attack, sophomore Katie O’Malley has shown that she will be the set-up woman for this season’s offense, posting 236 assists on the year  already, including a season-high of 50 assists Sept. 1 against Iowa Wesleyan.

The Pioneers head to Kenosha on Friday to compete in the Carthage College Invitational, beginning the tournament against Illinois Wesleyan at 4 p.m.