Oredigger volleyball endures rough opening tournament

The 11th ranked Oredigger volleyball team kicked off their 2013 season in Minnesota with a tough tournament at Concordia University in St. Paul this weekend and returned to Golden with a 1-3 record.

Friday evening saw Mines start things off by facing the #1 ranked team and tournament hosts, the Concordia University Golden Bears. Concordia was every bit as tough as their ranking would suggest, as they swept the Orediggers 3-0. The first two sets were thoroughly controlled by Concordia, ending in scores of 25-12 and 25-18. Mines jumped out to an early 20-12 lead in the final set, but Concordia fought back to take the set 27-25 and the match as a result.

Next, Mines took on the 20th ranked Wayne State Wildcats in a match that went down to the wire. In a thrilling five set struggle, Mines was edged out 3-2 despite career high performances from Sarah Pekarek (20 kills), Melanie Wannamaker (24 kills), Danielle Johnson-Hazlewood (60 assists), and Hannah Margheim (37 digs). Wayne State took the first two sets with close scores of 25-20 and 25-23, but Mines came storming back; taking the next two sets 25-17 and 25-19. The lead changed several times throughout the final set, but the Wildcats wound up prevailing 15-12, dropping the Orediggers to 0-2 to start the season.

CSM started off Saturday’s schedule by facing #21 Wingate. Wingate took the first set 25-16, followed by the Orediggers evening up the match at one set apiece with a 27-25 second set win. Wingate would pull away in the final two sets (25-20, 25-18) to take the match and remain undefeated on the season, while CSM fell to 0-3 on the year.

The Orediggers’ final match of the tournament was played later Saturday afternoon, and for the first time all season it was against an unranked opponent, Hillsdale University. Mines took care of business, sweeping Hillsdale and notching the team’s first win of the season.

Coming off of the win, Mines will try to carry their momentum into next weekend’s tournament here in Golden. The Orediggers’ first match of that event is next Friday, September 13th at 3 PM vs. Western Oregon.

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