NCAC volleyball squads opened the 2013 season last weekend with numerous teams competing at early season tournaments, highlighted by Ohio Wesleyan posting a perfect 3-0 record at its own Bishop Invitational. League teams return to action with non-conference matches on Wednesday, September 4th, and then hit the road for another round of early season tournaments next weekend.
ALLEGHENY posted a 2-2 record at the St. Vincent Bearcat Challenge, recording wins against Pitt.-Greensburg, 3-0, and Franciscan, 3-1. The Gators were led on the weekend by sophomore Taylor Samuel (Toms River, NJ/Toms River) who compiled 43 kills, 34 digs, two blocks, two set assists and two service aces.
DENISON posted a 2-2 record at the Otterbein/Capital Tournament, earning wins against Albion, 3-1, and Rose-Hulman, 3-2. Sophomore Kenzie Kuhn (Naperville, IL/Benet Acad.) led the squad with 33 kills, 22 blocks and a .333 hitting percentage, while junior libero Emily Marguerite (Wilmette, IL/New Trier) notched 141 digs in 17 sets, including a career-high 46 in the four-set victory over Albion on Friday.
DEPAUW dropped its season-opener against Ohio Northern, 3-2, but bounced back with back-to-back wins against St. Mary’s (IN), 3-0, and Thiel, 3-0, at the Ohio Northern Invitational. Sophomore Lauren Falotico (Arlington Hts., IL/St. Viator) tallied 33 kills on the weekend, while sophomore Keely McGrath (Indianapolis, IN/Cathedral) added 51 digs and sophomore Faith Rolwes (Chesterfield, MO/Villa Duchesne) totaled 109 set assists.
HIRAM opened play at the Mt. St. Joseph Kickoff Classic with a pair of wins over Centre, 3-1, and MSJ, 3-1, before dropping the final match of the two-day event against Thomas More, 3-1. The Terriers return to action on Wednesday (9/4) with a non-conference contest against John Carroll, before hitting the road on the weekend for the Marietta River City Classic.
KENYON opened its 2013 campaign at the two-day Otterbein/Capital Tournament. The Ladies were unable to come away with a win over the two-day stretch, dropping matches against Rose-Hulman, 3-0, Albion, 3-0, Trine, 3-1, and Defiance, 3-1. KC senior Sierra DeLeon (Upper Marlboro, MD/Maret School) was named to the All-Tournament team after finishing the event with 29 kills, four digs and three blocks.
OBERLIN went 0-4 to open the season at the Westminster Invitational, including a five-set, non-conference thriller against league foe Wooster. Freshman Ave Spencer (Goodyear, AZ/Millenium) was impressive against the Fighting Scots as she hit .556 (10-for-18), while sophomore Molly Powers (Chicago, IL/Resurrection College Prep) was named to the All-Tournament team as she totaled 53 digs over the weekend.
OHIO WESLEYAN jumped out of the gates strong last weekend, posting three wins against Wilmington, 3-0, Earlham, 3-0, and Grove City, 3-1, at its annual Bishop Invitational. Senior middle hitter Tamra Londot (Utica, OH/Utica) shined for OWU on the opening weekend as she finished the two-day event with 40 kills (4.00 KPG), nine blocks (5 solo, 4 asst.) and two digs. Londot’s weekend was capped off by a 21-kill and three-block performance in the Bishops’ 3-1 victory over Grove City.
WITTENBERG, ranked third in the AVCA preseason poll, hosted defending national champion and preseason No. 1 St. Thomas (MN), eighth-ranked Emory and vote-getter Johns Hopkins at the highly competitive Courtyard Marriot National Invitational. The Tigers opened the event with a 3-0 victory over Johns Hopkins, before dropping a pair of 3-1 contests against Emory and St. Thomas. Senior Andrea Behling (Columbus, IN/North) led the offense with 37 kills over the weekend, while junior Meghan Vodopich (Canton, OH/Massillon Perry) dished out 92 assists and sophomore Bryanna Jay (Girard, OH/Girard) added 11 blocks (3 solo, 8 asst.).
WOOSTER opened the season at the Westminster Invitational with a 1-3 record wit its lone win coming against Oberlin, 3-2, in a non-conference match against league members. Senior Erica Skillman (Ann Arbor, MI/Huron) was the Fighting Scots’ offensive leader at the two-day event, pacing the team in kills (43) and hitting percentage (.310), while also racking up 33 assists. In the win over the Yeowomen, Skillman led the way with 18 kills, a career-high 14 assists and four service aces.