With two weeks remaining in the regular season, No. 7 Wittenberg (5-0, 17-2) holds a half game lead over No. 25 Ohio Wesleyan (5-1, 22-2) in the NCAC volleyball standings, while the race for spots three and four continues to be tight with DePauw (4-1, 14-5), Hiram (4-2, 17-6) and Denison (3-2, 11-9) each vying for position. There are eight total NCAC matches on the schedule this week, led by DePauw traveling to Ohio Wesleyan on Thursday night and Denison traveling to DePauw on Saturday afternoon.
ALLEGHENY fell in straight-sets against Denison on Saturday in its only action last week. Sophomore libero Terra Schall (Kittanning, PA/Kittanning) collected 22 digs in the loss, bringing her season total to 522, which is just 45 shy of placing her on the program’s top-10 list for digs in a season.
DENISON opened play last week with a 3-0 setback against No. 25 Ohio Wesleyan, but the Big Red rebounded with a straight-set victory of their own on Saturday against Allegheny to improve to a perfect 7-0 in home matches this season. Senior Elena Lein (Athens, OH/Athens) finished the week with 21 kills, four blocks and a .450 hitting percentage, while sophomore libero Kristin Thewes (Dripping Springs, TX/St. Stephens Episcopal) averaged 6.67 digs per set on the week.
DEPAUW extended its winning streak to five with a 3-1 triumph over Kenyon on Saturday. The Tigers have won 13-straight home matches, with the last loss coming against Denison on October 19, 2013. Junior middle hitter Elisabeth Wilson (Carterville, IL/Carterville) led the Tigers in the victory with 14.5 points on 13 kills and three block assists.
HIRAM posted a perfect 3-0 record last week, earning wins against Case, 3-2, Wooster, 3-1, and Buffalo State, 3-1. Junior outside hitter Marissa Jay (Parma, OH/Padua Franciscan) posted double-digit kills in all three victories, which included a season-high 18 in the victory over Case. In 13 total sets on the week, Jay totaled 41 kills, a .264 hitting percentage, 13 digs and 10 blocks (3 solo, 7 asst.).
KENYON topped Muskingum, 3-1, in non-conference action on Friday, before falling to NCAC-foe DePauw by a 3-1 margin on Saturday. Freshman outside hitter Delaney Swanson (Sonoma, CA/Sonoma Valley) logged a pair of double-double performances, tallying 20 kills and 14 digs against Muskingum and adding 14 kills and 19 digs against DePauw.
OBERLIN split a non-conference tri-match on Saturday in Pennsylvania, knocking off Thiel, 3-1, before falling to host Saint Vincent in straight sets. Sophomore middle hitter Claudia Scott (Cibolo, TX/Byron P. Steele II) led the Yeowomen with 32 kills over the two matches combined, while senior libero Molly Powers (Chicago, IL/Resurrection College Prep) finished the day with 47 digs and four service aces.
OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked 25th in the most recent AVCA Top-25, improved to 22-2 on the season with a pair of home wins last week over Denison, 3-0, and Otterbein, 3-2. According to AVCA records, this marks the first time the Bishops have been ranked in the Top-25 since the organization began conducting the Division III poll in 1992. In eight total sets last week, sophomore outside hitter Brianna La Croix (Woodland Hills, CA/Sierra Canyon) contributed 29 kills, a .215 hitting percentage, 16 digs and three service aces.
WITTENBERG, ranked seventh in the most recent AVCA Top-25, went 2-1 last weekend at Calvin’s Midwest Invitational in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Tigers opened the event with a 3-1 loss against No. 5 Calvin, but they bounced back with a pair of 3-1 wins over No. 11 Carthage and No. 16 Elmhurst. In the win over Elmhurst, junior Camila Quinones (Sunbury, OH/Worthington Christian) piled up a career-high 16 kills on just 23 attempts without an error for an amazing .696 hitting percentage. Senior Kara Seidenstricker (London, OH/Jonathan Alder), who was named to the all-tournament team, continued her consistent play on the season with double-double efforts in the two wins, totaling 18 kills and 15 digs against Carthage and 12 kills and 17 digs against Elmhurst. In the three matches combined, Seidenstricker accumulated 35 kills, a .284 hitting percentage, 48 digs and 11 total blocks (2 solo, 9 asst.).
WOOSTER dropped a heartbreaking 3-2 decision at Franciscan on Wednesday, before falling in four-sets against Hiram on Friday. Senior setter Brittany Nicholson (Wooster, OH/Wooster), who posted a double-double against Franciscan with 23 assists and 10 digs, finished the week by handing out 38 assists and scooping up 13 digs.