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Volleyball Team Wraps Up 2013 Season

Article by: Jim Hunstein, jhunstein@lc.edu

GODFREY - The Lewis and Clark volleyball team finished the 2013 season on a high note, winning its last two regular season games as well as their regional play-in game before falling to the second-ranked team in the country.

"It took us a while to figure out who we were and how we could best succeed," said head coach Jim Hunstein.  "Once we did, we made significant progress. We just ran out of time before we fully realized our true potential."

The Trailblazers finished the year with an overall record of 12-25, which included a record of 6-8 against Region 24 opponents and 3-7 against Mid-West Athletic Conference schools.  The team finished fourth of eight teams in the region and fourth of five teams in the MWAC.

"The first round win at Regionals over Lincoln was huge," Hunstein said.  

Lewis and Clark entered the Region play-in match seeded fifth to Lincoln's fourth, and pulled off the upset with a 3-2 victory.  

"We had so much energy on the floor and on the bench," he said. "That might have been our best match of the year."

The Trailblazers had a remarkable record of 5-1 in matches that went five sets.  

"I wish I knew exactly how that happened," Hunstein said.  "I guess it shows how mentally tough and determined the players got when it came to crunch time."

The team was led this year by two of its captains, sophomore setter Ashleigh Holtgrave, of Trenton, Ill., and sophomore outside hitter Hannah Baker, of Granite City.  Both earned All-Region and All-Conference honors. Holtgrave was named First Team in both and Baker was named Second Team All-Conference and Honorable Mention All-Region.

Holtgrave led the team with 568 service aces and was second with 31 aces. Baker was tops on the team with 245 kills, 299 digs and 293 points (a total of kills, aces, and blocks). Sophomore right side hitter Alyssa Wagner, of Edwardsville, was second on the team with 218 kills and 272 points and third with 42 blocks.  

Sophomore middle hitter Lizzie Meierotto led the team with 67 blocks followed by freshman middle hitter Kate Gorman, of Jerseyville, with 52. Freshman outside hitter Megan Ramsey led the team with 47 aces and was third with 176 kills and 235 points. Sophomore libero Michaela Hlafka, of Bunker Hill, was second on the team with 295 digs.

"Looking over the numbers, our sophomores certainly led the way," Hunstein said.  "But the freshmen made valuable contributions on and off the court all year, which might not show up in the stats. They learned a lot about how to play the game at this level. I'm looking forward to them emerging as leaders next year and continuing to help improve the program."