The North Coast volleyball squads continued their early season success last week as eight of the nine league squads currently own overall records of .600 or better, led by Wooster’s unblemished 7-0 mark and a pair of one-loss squads in Ohio Wesleyan (9-1) and seventh-ranked Wittenberg (7-1). League squads return to the court for non-conference action this week, highlighted by Wittenberg hosting DePauw (5-3) and a grouping of local non-conference teams for its annual Fall Classic.
ALLEGHENY topped Grove City, 3-0, on Wednesday, before going 2-2 over the weekend at the Lycoming Warrior Tip-Off Classic, earning a 3-0 win over Penn College of Technology and picking up another straight-set triumph over York. All six of Allegheny’s victories have come in straight sets. Sophomore setter Justine Kelly (Seattle, WA/Mountlake Terrace) was named to the All-Tournament team after dishing out 121 assists and accumulating 34 digs over the two days combined.
DENISON went 2-1 on the week, picking up straight-set victories over Capital and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, before dropping a 3-0 decision against Hanover on Saturday. Senior middle blocker Elena Lein (Athens, OH/Athens) led the Big Red on the week with a .514 hitting percentage after tallying 21 kills in 37 attempts with just two errors, while sophomore libero Kristin Thewes (Dripping Springs, TX/St. Stephens Episcopal) led the defensive unit on the week with 32 digs.
DEPAUW split four matches over the weekend in St. Louis at the Washington (MO) Baden Invite. The Tigers opened the Invite with a pair of losses on Friday against No. 8 Wash. U., 3-1, and Whitworth, 3-0, but DPU bounced back on Saturday with a pair of wins over Cornell College, 3-0, and Hendrix, 3-2. Senior outside hitter Lauren Falotico (Arlington Hts., IL/St. Viator) led the Tigers on the weekend with 42 kills, while senior setter Faith Rolwes (Chesterfield, MO/Villa Duchesne) was named to the All-Tournament Team after providing a versatile stat line with 117 set assists, 44 digs, 21 kills and 11 blocks (1 solo, 10 asst.).
HIRAM dropped its home opener against Heidelberg on Tuesday by a 3-1 count, but the Terriers rebounded over the weekend by posting a perfect 4-0 record at the Baldwin Wallace Marcia French Memorial Tournament. Hiram opened the two-day event with a 3-1 triumph over Franciscan, before collecting three straight-set victories over Westminster, Thiel and Buffalo St. Senior middle hitter Lindsay Brewer (New Franklin, OH/Manchester) was named to an All-Tournament team for the second weekend in a row after finishing the tourney with two double-doubles and 60 kills.
KENYON is over the .500 mark at 5-3 for the first time since the 2011 season with a rotation that features nearly all underclassmen. The Ladies opened the week with their first home win in nearly two seasons by topping Wilmington, 3-0, before traveling to Cincinnati over the weekend and posting a 2-1 record at the Mount St. Joseph Invitational. Freshman outside hitter Delaney Swanson (Sonoma, CA/Sonoma Valley) posted three double-doubles on the week, led by a 19-kill and 17-dig effort in a 3-1 over MSJ on Saturday.
OBERLIN dropped a 3-0 decision to Baldwin Wallace on Wednesday and then let one slip away on Saturday against Ohio Christian as the Yeowomen stormed out to a 2-0 lead, only to see the Trailblazers regroup and win the final three sets. Sophomore Claudia Scott (Cibolo, TX/Byron P. Steele II) led OC with 19 kills against OCU.
OHIO WESLEYAN ran its winning streak to nine-straight after collecting five victories last week, which included opening the week with a 3-0 triumph over Muskingum, which marked the program’s first win over the Muskies since the 1993 season. OWU then traveled to Indiana over the weekend and posted a 4-0 record at the Rose-Hulman Invitational. Sophomore outside hitter Iris Anderson (Elk Grove, CA/Christian Brothers), who led OWU with 18 kills against the Muskies, was named to the All-Tournament team at Rose-Hulman after scooping up 87 digs and smashing 54 kills over the four matches combined, which included a 16-kill and 30-dig performance in a 3-2 victory over Franklin on Sunday.
WITTENBERG, ranked seventh in the most recent AVCA Top-25, went 4-0 last weekend at the Washington & Lee Invitational with straight-set victories on Friday against Lynchburg and W&L and a pair of 3-1 triumphs on Saturday over No. 22 Berry and Averett. The senior duo of outside hitter Melissa Emming (West Chester, OH/Mt. Notre Dame) and Kara Seidenstricker (London, OH/Jonathan Alder) were both named to the All-Tourney team. Seidenstricker, who was also the Tournament MVP, finished the four-game stretch with 37 kills and 40 digs, which included a pair of double-double efforts against Berry (15k, 15d) and Averett (11k, 11d).
WOOSTER is off to its best start since the 1969 season at 7-0 overall after picking up a pair of wins last week against Wilmington, 3-0, and Ohio Christian, 3-1. In addition, the last time the Scots won seven or more matches in a row was during the 2009 season. Junior middle blocker Anna Emmick (Indianapolis, IN/Cardinal Ritter) led the Scots on the week with eight kills against Wilmington and 11 more against OCU.