North Coast volleyball squads wrapped up the bulk of non-conference play last week and eight of nine league squads enter conference play this weekend with .600 or better records overall. There are eight league matches on the slate this weekend, highlighted by Hiram (0-0, 11-3) hosting No. 7 Wittenberg (0-0, 10-1) on Friday night and DePauw (0-0, 6-3) traveling to Hiram on Saturday afternoon.
ALLEGHENY ran its current winning streak to four-straight following three home wins last week over Marymount, 3-1, Lycoming, 3-1, and Thiel, 3-0. The Lycoming win provided the Gators with a bit of revenge after the Warriors defeated the Gators, 3-1, just one week earlier on their home court in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Gators entered play last weekend as the nation’s leader in digs per set (23.32), with sophomore Terra Schall (Kittanning, PA/Kitanning) sitting as the national leader in digs per set at 7.09.
DENISON was victorious in its only match of the week, defeating Marietta in straight-sets at home on Wednesday. Junior Rachele Lock (Chicago, IL/St. Ignatius) led DU with nine kills, while freshman Olivia Buroker (Indianapolis, IN/Park Tudor) contributed with seven kills, three aces and eight digs.
DEPAUW won two of its three matches over the weekend as part of the Wittenberg Fall Classic, knocking off Heidelberg, 3-0, on Friday and collecting a 3-2 victory over Otterbein on Saturday. Senior libero Keely McGrath (Indianapolis, IN/Cathedral) was named to the all-tournament team after scooping up 62 digs and accumulating four aces over the three matches combined. During Saturday’s win against Otterbein, McGrath became DPU’s all-time digs leader with 2,050, topping the previous mark of 2,045 held by Jane Hodgkinson (1998-2001).
HIRAM has now won nine-straight matches, which included a perfect 4-0 mark at its own Hiram Invitational last weekend. In the 3-0 win over PSU-Behrend on Tuesday, senior Lindsay Brewer (New Franklin, OH/Manchester) smashed 11 kills to become the seventh player in school history to reach 1,000 career kills. Brewer was then named the MVP of the Hiram Invitational after adding 56 kills and 45 digs over the weekend, which included a 24-kill and career-high 19-dig effort in the 3-2 win over Fredonia State on Friday.
KENYON knocked off Earlham, 3-0, in its only action last week. Freshman Delaney Swanson (Sonoma, CA/Sonoma Valley) led the Ladies with 11 kills and 13 digs, while sophomore Jensen Shurbert (Santa Cruz, CA/Pacific Collegiate) dished out 29 assists in the win.
OBERLIN dropped both of its matches on Saturday at the Wooster Kilt Classic, falling to Albion, 3-0, and Muskingum, 3-2. Sophomore Dana Thomas (Cincinnati, Summit Country Day) was named to the all-tournament team after totaling 22 kills in the two matches.
OHIO WESLEYAN ran its school-record winning streak to 13 matches following a perfect 4-0 record over the weekend at its own Bishop Invitational, which included a 3-2 marquee win over No. 19 Mount Union on Friday night. In the 3-0 triumph over Defiance on Friday, the Bishops totaled 30 block assists to break the previous school record of 22 block assists in a three-set match, set against Earlham on October 13, 1993. In addition, senior middle blocker Meigan Day (Port Clinton, OH/Port Clinton) accumulated nine of those block assists to break the school record of eight block assists in a three-set match. Sophomore outside hitter Iris Anderson (Elk Grove, OH/Christian Brothers) was named the MVP of the Bishop Invitational after finishing the two-day event with 78 kills, 54 digs, 12 block assists and eight service aces.
WITTENBERG, ranked seventh in the most recent AVCA Top 25, went 3-0 last weekend at its own Wittenberg Fall Classic, which included a 3-1 win over 12th-ranked and defending national champion Hope on Friday night. The Tigers continued play on Saturday with a pair of wins against Ohio Northern, 3-2, and Heidelberg, 3-1. Junior middle hitter Emily Kahlig (Coldwater, OH/Coldwater) was named to the all-tournament team after piling up 25 kills and a team-best 13 blocks in the three matches combined.
WOOSTER opened its Ginny Hunt Kilt Classic with a 3-0 victory over Capital on Friday, but the Scots saw their eight-match winning streak come to a close later in the evening with a 3-1 loss against Albion. The annual early season tournament was officially renamed this year to honor the program’s first coach as Wooster celebrates its 50th year of varsity volleyball. Junior middle blocker Anna Emmick (Indianapolis, IN/Cardinal Ritter) was named to the all-tournament team after finishing the event with 19 kills, 15 blocks (2 solo, 13 asst.), six digs and four aces.