North Coast volleyball squads kicked off the 2014 season over
the Labor Day weekend with a combined record of 18-16 against
non-conference opponents, highlighted by Hiram and Ohio Wesleyan
both logging unblemished records at season-opening tournaments. The
Terriers went 4-0 at the SUNY-Cortland Red Dragon Classic, while
the Battling Bishops went 3-0 at their own Bishop Invitational.
ALLEGHENY jumped out of the gates strong in 2014 with a 3-1 record at the Saint Vincent Bearcat Challenge. In the season-opening 3-0 victory over Waynesburg, 26th year head coach Bridget Sheehan became the 23rd coach in NCAA Division III history to eclipse the 600-win plateau. In 26 seasons at the helm of the program, Sheehan currently owns a record of 602-409. Freshman setter Justine Kelly-DeMello (Seattle, WA/Mountlake Terrace) earned All-Tournament Team honors after totaling 109 set assists during the two-day event.
DENISON opened the season with a 1-3 record at the Bluffton Sommer Center Spiketacular. The Big Red fell to Geneva, 3-0, Heidelberg, 3-1, and Bluffton, 3-0, before topping Albion, 3-2, in their final match of the weekend. Senior libero Emily Marguerite (Wilmette, IL/New Trier), the 2013 NCAC Libero of the Year, was named to the All-Tournament Team after compiling 117 digs in 15 total sets.
DEPAUW captured the team title at the Berry College Invitational after finishing the event with a 3-1 record, which included a 3-1 victory over No. 2 Emory on Sunday. Junior setter Faith Rolwes (Chesterfield, MO/Villa Duchesne) earned MVP honors at the tournament, while senior middle hitter Mary Kate Etling (Terre Haute, IN/North) was also named to the All-Tournament Team. In 14 total sets on the weekend, Rolwes handed out 134 set assists to go along with 25 kills, nine blocks and five service aces.
HIRAM kicked off its season by being one of two teams to go 4-0 at the SUNY-Cortland Red Dragon Classic, earning wins over Richard Stockton, 3-0, Medaille, 3-0, St. Lawrence, 3-0, and Nazareth, 3-1. Junior Lindsay Brewer (Barberton, OH/Manchester) was named to the All-Tournament Team after registering 61 kills for a .381 hitting percentage, while senior Tierra Moore (Maple Hts., OH/Maple Hts.) also added a strong contribution over the weekend with 124 set assists.
KENYON opened the season at the Capital/Otterbein Invitational. The Ladies fell against Capital, 3-1, and Baldwin Wallace, 3-0, on Friday, before falling to Otterbein and Case by identical 3-0 margins on Saturday. Freshman libero Rachael Thorson (Larkspur, CA/Redwood) was named to the All-Tournament Team after securing 33 digs, nine set assists, two service aces and one kill in 13 total sets.
OBERLIN went 2-2 at the Gettysburg Battlefield Classic, picking up wins over PSU-Harrisburg, 3-0, and PSU-Altoona, 3-2, while dropping matches against McDaniel, 3-1, and Gettysburg, 3-1. Junior Molly Powers (Chicago, IL/Resurrection College Prep) earned All-Tournament Team honors after racking up 76 digs, while freshman Claudia Scott (Cibolo, TX/Byron P. Steele II) led the squad offensively over the weekend with 32 kills and seven service aces.
OHIO WESLEYAN swept three matches in nine total sets to earn the title at its own Bishop Invitational. OWU reeled off the victories against Wilmington, Earlham and Grove City. Freshman outside hitter Iris Anderson (Elk Grove, CA/Christian Brothers) was named the Tournament MVP after providing versatility for the Bishops on offense and defense. Offensively, she finished the two-day event with 35 kills, a .360 hitting percentage and six service aces, while also adding 32 digs and five total blocks for the defensive unit.
WITTENBERG, ranked No. 7 in the 2014 AVCA preseason poll, posted a 2-1 record at its own Courtyard by Marriot National Invitational, earning wins over No. 5 St. Thomas, 3-1, and Johns Hopkins, 3-0, while suffering its lone setback against No. 4 Hope, 3-1. Junior Kara Seidenstricker (London, OH/Jonathan Alder) hit .244 with 28 kills, four service aces and none total blocks, while senior Meghan Vodopich (Canton, OH/Massillon Perry) dished out 92 total assists with nearly one-third going on to become kills.
WOOSTER dropped four matches against high-caliber competition at the Ohio Northern Invitational, suffering losses against Defiance, 3-1, and Thomas More, 3-0, the 2013 HCAC and PAC champions, respectively, as well as setbacks against Thiel, 3-0, and Ohio Northern, 3-0. Freshman outside hitter Ksenia Klue (Medina, OH/Medina) led the Scotts over the weekend by registering 28 kills, 28 digs and three service aces.