Volleyball picking up pace

Tim Ruberton

The women’s volleyball team opened the Midwest Conference season in style this week, taking two of three matches played at a meet hosted by Beloit College.
The Vikings, who are 2-1 MWC and 5-6 overall, split their matches on Saturday, taking down Knox College (1-2, 3-13) in straight sets, but dropping the last three sets of a well-fought five-set match against Illinois College (2-1, 13-4). On Sunday, the Vikes made short work of Grinnell (0-3, 2-15), dispatching the Pioneers of Iowa in straight sets. Sophomore outside-hitter Kelly Mulcahy led the weekend effort, notching 38 kills over the three matches to go with 26 digs (earning a double-double with 14k, 12d in the Illinois match), three service aces, and just 13 total errors; junior middle-hitter Alicia Onisawa contributed 35 kills and 6 service aces in the same span.
Lawrence’s attack finished the Beloit playdate leading the conference in hitting percentage at .314, with second place St. Norbert trailing distantly in that department with a .271 percentage; the Vikes also lead the conference in service aces with 34 thanks to the skills of Onisawa, senior setter Georgia Seals, senior outside-hitter/defensive specialist Emily Stengl, and junior middle-hitter Tiffany Orcholski, all of whom rate in the top ten in the conference. Seals currently ranks third in assists per game at 11.18.
The Lawrence women also seized victory in a non-conference match against Wisconsin Lutheran on Tuesday the 27th in what turned out to be a tense five set contest. Mulcahy and Stengl logged double-doubles in the match.
The Vikes are now 5-6 overall after a rough 2-4 non-conference start, in which they took some straight-set beatings from nationally-ranked St. Benedict, UW-Stout, and on-the-bubble UW-Eau Claire. The women are back in action this weekend at the St. Norbert College Tournament in De Pere.