Volleyball Roughed Up in Week of Losses

By JACK VANASSCHE, Staff Writer

The University of Michigan-Dearborn volleyball team had another tough week and dropped all three of their games.

Wednesday, as the team honored their professors in ‘MVP Night,’ the Wolverines dropped a conference matchup to Lawrence Tech, 3-1 (20-25, 14-25, 25-14, 10-25).

The Blue Devils (14-13, 4-5 Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference) spoiled the Wolverines’ (8-14, 1-8 WHAC) special night by pulling out a tough road victory.

Taylor Bejma of the Wolverines padded her team-leading dig totals with nine on the night. Junior Bri Alspaugh began her phenomenal week of play by posting three blocks and led the night with eight kills.

Regardless of the final outcome, head coach Eric Stark was pleased with his team’s progress.

“That was the best we have played at home all season,” he said. “I thought we battled well, [LTU] just had one extra run in each set that led them to the victory.”

Saturday, the Wolverines traveled nearly 100 miles west to Albion College where they would face both Kalamazoo College and Albion in a doubleheader.

First, the Wolverines took on Kalamazoo College; a team that had won four of their previous six games heading into the day. The Hornets were able to take down UM-Dearborn in four sets.

“It was a really good back and forth match,” said Stark of the battle with Kalamazoo (8-14).

In the first set, the Wolverines were edged out 19-25. Impressive defense by UM-Dearborn kept the set tight and set the tone for the remainder of the match.

After dropping set two by a score of 17-25, the Wolverines locked into a battle to make sure they saw set four.

Bri Alspaugh, continuing to terrorize opponents on both sides of the ball, put up a game-high six blocks and finished off 13 kills.

Alspaugh and the Wolverines battled for every point, and the Hornets were there to answer. With the two teams locked at 24-24, the Wolverines strung together two consecutive points to take the most competitive set of the match.

A 20-25 loss in the fourth set ended the game for the Wolverines, but not before they displayed impressive fire.

Libero Raechel Warchock continued her fine performance since taking over the position at the beginning of October. She tallied 26 digs in the match against Kalamazoo.

“[Raechel] has really embraced the extra responsibility placed on her with the libero position,” Stark said. “We knew it was going to be a battle [for the position] all year and she has really shown up.”

On the back half of the doubleheader, the Wolverines lost in straight sets to host school Albion (16-26, 14-25, 19-25).

Backed by an impressive offensive attack and a sturdy defensive effort, the Brits (13-9) were simply the better team.

“They put up a great block,” said Stark of the Brit’s defense. “We struggled to put the ball down. Even when we took big swings they just were not finding the ground.”

The loss to Albion was the seventh consecutive loss for the Wolverines. They look to rebound Wednesday with a home matchup against Marygrove, the only WHAC team without a conference win this season.