Maple Leafs defeat Marian Knights in three sets

The Goshen College women’s volleyball team was all smiles on Saturday afternoon after a home game win over the Marian Knights in three sets (25-23, 25-20, 25-20).

After losing to Marian last Friday in Indianapolis, the match on Saturday came as a welcome boost to team morale. “This is possibly the biggest win of the season,” said Jim Routhier, the Leafs’ head coach. “Today the girls saw what they can be all the time.”

The Knights certainly didn’t give up the game without a fight. The three sets were all competitive, decided by five points or less.

In the second set, Hannah Grieser, a junior, led a crucial momentum shift, serving commandingly to win three straight points. Kate Yoder, a senior, finished out the second set with two powerful kills and led the Leafs in an overall game total of 14 kills, the final one coming to clinch the match.

Missy Mackowiak, a first-year, and Stacy Wyse, a sophomore, provided a solid defensive line with 14 and 11 digs, respectively.

Kelsee Evans was Marion’s lead hitter with eight kills.

Routhier commented on the improvements he sees in the team. “Our freshmen are finally starting to get up to the college-level speed,” he said. “Jamie Stack and Missy Mackowiak both had a fantastic game. Missy has been our stalwart all season.”

In light of Goshen’s earlier loss to Marian, Routhier focused on areas for improvement, specifically outside hitting down the line and receiving hits from the right back corner. “I think we covered them all today!” he said, grinning.

Emily Waits, a sophomore middle hitter from Goshen, also weighed in on the win. “The past few games have been rough, so this was a good game to get our confidence back,” she said. “This afternoon, we finally clicked.”

The Leafs look ahead to their next match with an undefeated Taylor University squad on Oct. 12. Mackowiak shared her thoughts about the upcoming game. “It’ll be tough,” she said. “They’re a ranked school. But we’re an underdog team so we have nothing to lose.”

Routhier is hopeful about the rest of the season. “This group is so positive,” he said. “They come right out and are ready to play. The winning will come.”

The Leafs are now 3-8 in the Mid-Central College Conference and 7-10 overall.

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Written by Kaeli Evans

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