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December 5, 2013

Volleyball ends season in Milwaukee

By John Cuturic

The volleyball team prepares to receive a serve from Milwaukee.

The Cleveland State University volleyball team ended their season Nov. 23, falling in the Horizon League semifinals to the UW Milwaukee Panthers.

The team’s semifinal performance finishes off a 16-13 season, where the Vikings saw both a 5-game winning streak and a 6-game losing streak.

The Vikings ended the regular season by beating Milwaukee 3-2, with double-doubles for senior Kerry Winchester and junior Maggie Hannon. But the Vikings fell a few kills short in their playoff match. The scores of the first three sets: Milwaukee 25-23, Milwaukee 25-21 and Cleveland State 25-23.

A big story for the volleyball team is the loss of star outside hitter Kara Koch, who graduated after last season. The team had 1,558 kills last season, and 1,487 this time around. Koch scored 500 in her senior year.

The Vikings’ offensive leader this year was freshman Grace Kauth with 305 kills. Hannon took 297 and made the All-Horizon-League Team. Winchester scored 233 kills--along with Annie Djukic, she played her last season this year.

Going forward, the Vikings’ offensive hopes have a lot to do with Kauth, who made the Horizon League All-Freshman team this season, and sophomore Christina Toth. Toth scored 231 kills this season.

On the defensive side, sophomore Nikki Holmes posted a team-high 495 digs, good for about 4 and a half per set.

The team will lose Djukic and Winchester next season, but fans saw some strong performances from underclassmen this time out.

“Next season promises to be an exciting one as we return the majority of our team,” said Vikings coach Chuck Voss. “Everyone is excited for the future.”

Who knows if we’ll get back to 23-7 next year -- but we’re definitely going to have a team to look forward to.