The athletics department grabs their first GLIAC win of the year at the expense of crosstown rival Walsh University, with the affair going four sets and tallying a final score of 19-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-17. It was an entertaining match from set to set, keeping spectators on the edge of their seats for every point.
“It is a confidence booster for us, because so far this season, in close matches, we have been on the losing end of matches,” said coach Tanya Hockman. “It will be huge going forward. We can point to the match and say, ‘Look, we can do it.'”
The team went back and forth with Walsh every set. The match tested the will of the team, especially when a huge lead in the third set seemed to vanish and a desperate Walsh was looking for their first win of the season. Tied at 23-23, the Pioneers had to show character and guts. They went on to win 25-23.
“That point of the match was gut-check time and moments that show what you’re made of,” Hockman said. “Either you step up or shrink back.”
The Pioneers certainly showed a lot of guts and character in the third set. For a young team, it should help them going forward in the season and to do it against the big school rival is huge. The team carried the momentum into the fourth and won the final set 25-17.
“Staying focused was huge, and knowing where to put the ball and staying discipline and playing our game was crucial,” said junior Liza Maczuzak.
Coming into the match both teams were struggling and in need of a win to feel good about themselves. So a win would give them momentum and for Malone it can be a springboard going into a tough weekend slate. A win over Walsh can do just that.
“ With this win we look to carry momentum and win more conference matches,” said senior Anna Hayes.
The student presence was tremendous and the atmosphere in the building was crucial in helping the Pioneers win.
“The fans were great tonight, and it gets you pumped seeing tweets before the game,” Hayes said. “The support helps a lot.”
With the win, the team improves to 3-7 overall and 1-4 in the GLIAC. Walsh falls to 0-9 and 0-5.
The Pioneers are back in action September 26 at 7 p.m. to take on the Warriors of Wayne State.