GOSHEN, Ind. - The Goshen College volleyball team made its home debut in style, sweeping visiting Concordia University (Mich.) 25-16, 25-17, 25-12 and Purdue University North Central 25-15, 25-12, 25-17 Thursday night.
"I was very impressed with our intensity," head coach Jim Routhier said. "Going to Montana and playing against a number of national ranked teams really increased our intensity, level of play, and expectations. Coming into these matches, I was impressed that we were able to sustain that level. We are much further ahead at this point than we have been in my four years at Goshen."
The Maple Leafs got in the win column for the first time in 2012 against Concordia in the day's first match. Behind the strong right arms of sophomore's Sam Heberling (Mishawaka, Ind.) and Jaime Stack (Goshen, Ind.), Goshen pounded down 40 kills and hit at an impressive .349 clip, including .519 in the first set.
Heberling had a match-high 15 kills on just 24 swings (46% hitting percentage), while Stack had nine kills on 39% hitting. Classmate Missy Mackowiak (North Liberty, Ind.) led all players with 14 digs, while junior Stacy Wyse (Archbold, Ohio) dished out 29 assists. Wyse also had eight digs and three aces and Mackowiak also drilled three service aces.
Ashley Maynard led Concordia with six kills and eight digs. The Cardinals went on to outlast Purdue North Central in a back-and-forth 25-17, 21-25, 15-25, 25-22, 17-15 match. Layne Molosky had 16 kills and Shannon Pietruska picked up 33 digs for Concordia, while Vicki Flanders led the Panthers with 14 kills in the losing effort.
It was much of the same for the Maple Leafs in the nightcap. This time Stack led the team with 10 kills, Heberling added seven, and senior Hannah Grieser (Goshen, Ind.) had nine. Mackowiak again posted a match high with 21 digs, while Wyse added 27 assists and now has 2,259 for her career, the exact same number of her aunt, Rita Wyse, who entered the year fifth in the program's career record book.
Goshen limited the visitors to a negative hitting percentage of -.082, which included 11 Maple Leaf blocks. Sophomore Melanie Meyer assisted on nine of those, while junior Emily Waits added five for the Maple Leaf middles.
"I was really pleased with how everyone played," Routhier continued. "Nobody had an off night, they all played to their capability. Our outsides read the block and picked their shots, our middles were very productive, the defense was outstanding. It was just a solid all-around performance."
The Maple Leafs (2-4) will host another tri-match on Saturday when Roosevelt University (Ill.) and Rochester College (Mich.) head to Goshen.