As we enter the final week of the 2015 NCAC volleyball season, nationally-ranked Wittenberg (7-0, 20-2) has clinched at least a share of its 21st conference title and can claim the title outright with a victory over DePauw (5-2, 16-7) on Tuesday night in Indiana. The Tigers have also clinched the hosting rights for the 2015 NCAC Tournament, which will be held in Springfield, Nov. 6-7. The final seeds for the eight-team tournament will be announced on Wednesday night following the completion of the conference portion of the regular season schedule.
ALLEGHENY split a pair of matches last week, first earning a hard-fought, five-set victory at Oberlin on Tuesday, before winning in straight-sets against Kenyon on Saturday. Sophomore libero Terra Schall (Kittanning, PA/Kittanning) tallied 37 digs on the week and is now just eight digs away from moving into 10th on the program’s all-time single-season list.
DENISON went 1-1 in conference action last week, topping Wooster in straight-sets on Wednesday, before falling in straight sets against DePauw on Saturday. Sophomore Kaileigh Poe (Bethel Park, PA/Bethel Park) eclipsed the 1,000-career assist mark at Wooster and now has 1,056 career assists in just under two full seasons at DU. In addition, senior Elena Lein (Athens, OH/Athens) finished the week with 24 kills and six blocks, while sophomore Kristin Thewes (Dripping Springs, TX/St. Stephens Episcopal) racked up 35 digs.
DEPAUW opened play last week with a historic win as head coach Deb Zellers collected her 500th career victory in the Tigers’ 3-1 victory over Geneva. In 22 years at her alma mater, Zellers’ career record now stands at 501-252. DPU also split a pair of league matches last week, with a 3-2 loss against No. 25 OWU on Thursday and a 3-0 triumph against Denison on Saturday. In 17 total sets on the week, junior middle hitter Elisabeth Wilson (Carterville, IL/Carterville) led the DPU offensive unit with 40 kills, a .333 hitting percentage and seven aces, while also contributing 13 total blocks (1 solo, 12 asst.) and 10 digs for the defense.
HIRAM split a pair of matches on Saturday in Delaware, first falling to No. 25 Ohio Wesleyan, 3-1, before knocking off Randolph-Macon, 3-2, in non-conference action. Senior outside hitter Lindsay Brewer (New Franklin, OH/Manchester) finished with a team-high 14 kills against OWU, before smashing a season-best 25 in the victory over RMC.
KENYON gave No. 6 Wittenberg a little scare in the first set on Thursday, but the Tigers regrouped for a 3-0 victory over the Ladies. KC did bounce back on Saturday with a 3-0 win of its own against Allegheny. Sophomore Tierney McClure (Toledo, OH/Bowsher) and freshman Delaney Swanson (Sonoma, CA/Sonoma Valley) each had 14 kills on the week, while freshman Schuyler Stupica (Sylvania, OH/Notre Dame Acad.) finished the week with 11 kills and seven blocks (1 solo, 6 asst.).
OBERLIN dropped a five-set heartbreaker against Allegheny on Wednesday and also fell in straight-sets against No. 6 Wittenberg on Saturday. Against the Gators, junior Jillian Hostetler (Algonquin, IL/Dundee-Crown) and sophomore Dana Thomas (Cincinnati, OH/Summit Country Day) combined for 42 kills, while junior Meredith Leung (Lomita, CA/Rolling Hills Prep) had a career-high 65 assists.
OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked 25th in the most recent AVCA Top-25, closed out the conference portion of its schedule last week with a pair of wins over DePauw, 3-2, and Hiram, 3-1, to finish the season with a 7-1 mark against league foes, which marks the Bishops’ best conference record since the 1998 squad also recorded a 7-1 NCAC slate. OWU also picked up a 3-1 non-conference victory over Randolph-Macon on Saturday to improve to 25-2 overall on the year. Sophomore outside hitter Brianna La Croix (Woodland Hills, CA/Sierra Canyon) posted double-double performances in both league wins, tallying 16 kills and 17 digs against DPU and 17 kills and 14 digs against Hiram. In 13 total sets on the week, La Croix totaled 56 kills, 39 digs, four blocks (1 solo, 3 asst.) and three aces.
WITTENBERG, ranked sixth in the most recent AVCA Top-25, clinched at least a share of its 21st conference title last week with a pair of straight-set wins over Kenyon on Thursday and Oberlin on Saturday. The Tigers also collected a straight-set victory over Randolph Macon on Friday night. Junior outside hitter Camila Quinones (Sunbury, OH/Worthington Christian) combined for 21 kills in the wins over Kenyon and RMC.
WOOSTER split a pair of matches last week, first falling to Denison in straight-sets on Wednesday, before knocking off Marietta, 3-2, on Friday. The Scots are now set to host Kenyon on Wednesday night for the final conference match of the year for both teams, with the winner securing a spot in the 2015 NCAC Tournament. In the win over Marietta, senior Savannah Moore (Burbank, OH/Northwestern) recorded her fourth triple-double of the season with 24 assists, 14 digs and 11 kills.