Volleyball loses first two matches of the season after losing setter

Photo+courtesy+SID

Photo courtesy SID

The volleyball team lost two matches at the four-match tournament at the Wittenberg Fall Classic this past weekend. This marks the first time they have lost a match since Oct. 18th during 2013 National Championship campaign when they lost against Hope in five sets.

Coach Amber Warners had to shuffle the lineup earlier in the week when freshman setter Jenna Lodewyk went down with an ankle injury during warm-ups at Kalamazoo. In her stead, freshman Megan Van Solkema and junior Jamie Kooiman adopted the role temporarily.

“We had to totally change our lineup around — we took our setters from the back row.  We ended up going with a 6-2 and will continue to do that until [Lodewyk] gets healthy again,” coach Warners said.

Playing ninth-ranked Wittenberg and tenth-ranked Washington University with an altered lineup was not part of the plan, but coach Warners didn’t want to use injury as an excuse.  She noted that there are parts of the game, such as serving, that do not depend on who is on the court:

“I think we can get better with this lineup. We have to be able to adapt to whatever lineup we put out there; we have to be able to play every part of the game well.”

Two losses were just one aspect of this weekend. The Knights returned the next day of the tournament to pick up two wins against Ohio Northern and Otterbein.

With a 2-2 finish, the Knights moved into double-digit wins with a record of 11-2 and only dropped to the fourth position on the AVCA coaches poll.

Senior libero Elise Biesboer was named to the all-tournament team, compiling 63 digs along the way.

On the offensive end, junior Maggie Kamp had 62 kills, while sophomore Laura Danhoff and senior Emily Crowe combined for over 50. Kooiman and Van Solkema provided 127 assists over the 14 sets they played in.

Coach Warners was pleased that her team did not give up this weekend and looks back on it as an opportunity to grow:

“When we get [Lodewyk] back, hopefully this week, we will be able to get back on track to where we need to be. If we don’t get her back, we will continue improving our current lineup.”