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Volleyball starts strong in opening weekend

Autumn Duyn records a kill as the UWF Argonauts beat Northern Michigan in five sets.

Autumn Duyn records a kill as the UWF Argonauts beat Northern Michigan in five sets.

By Scott Pauley

The UWF volleyball team has started its season strong at 3-1 after its opening weekend tournament ended Sept. 7.

UWF suffered its loss at the hands of the No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs on Friday in three sets 25-23, 25-12, 25-17.

“That was a growing game for us,” UWF coach Melissa Wolter said. “They’re more physical, they’re more balanced; I think they’re just a step ahead of us.”

The Argonauts were successful in their three other games, beating Missouri S&T in four sets on Friday, and beating No. 18 Wheeling Jesuit and unranked Northern Michigan both in five sets on Saturday.

One of the adjustments that Wolter made during the tournament was moving the 2011 Gulf South Conference Player of the Year, senior Lindsay Homme, from the middle hitter position to the weakside hitter spot.

“Since we have Sarah Scott and Jenny Bellairs playing good at the middle, we’ve chosen to have a third offensive threat out on the floor, and that’s Lindsay,” Wolter said.

The rotation provided the team with a little more offense as Sarah Scott tallied 21 kills in Saturday’s games, allowing UWF to increase their total kills from 75 on Friday to 119 on Saturday.

Homme transitioned well into her new position as she totaled 39 kills on the weekend. Homme and junior outside hitter Autumn Duyn were both named to the all-tournament team.

Another bright spot for the Argos was the play of freshman outside hitter Holly Matmuller, who finished Saturday’s games with 18 kills and 22 digs.

“I think she killed it; she did so awesome,” Duyn said of Matmuller. “She’s just been waiting for her chance to come in, and she took it and she ran with it.”

The Argos played a few freshmen this weekend, trying to iron out the positional battles and settle into a good rotation for the upcoming season.

“I feel like we learned a lot,” Duyn said. “I think we can build on the relationship with the team. It felt like we really just got a good lineup out there and played really well together as a team.”

This new Argo rotation will have a tough road ahead, as they travel to Denver this weekend for the Colorado Premier, an invitational tournament that will match them against more tough opponents.

“No rest for us. We’ll play two more top 25 teams on Friday, and then we will see who we play Saturday,” Wolter said.

The difficult start to the season might mean a few more hiccups, but Homme is optimistic.

“This team has a lot of potential,” Homme said. “We’re just going to get better and better as the season goes on.”

The Argos moved up two spots to No. 17 in the nation following the weekend tournament.

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