North Coast volleyball squads jumped out to a fast start in the 2015 season as the nine league teams combined for a 27-14 record in non-conference competition last week, highlighted by Wooster (0-0, 5-0) opening the season with a 5-0 mark for the first time since 2011. It will be another busy week of non-conference action as numerous teams will be traveling to early-season tournaments over the weekend.
ALLEGHENY dropped is season-opener against SUNY-Fredonia, 3-1, on Tuesday, but the Gators bounced back by going 3-1 over the weekend at the Saint Vincent Bearcat Challenge, earning three 3-0 victories over Waynesburg, Saint Vincent and Carlow. Sophomore libero Terra Schall (Kittanning, PA/Kittanning), who had a career-high 35 digs in the loss against Fredonia, was named to the SVC Bearcat Challenge All-Tournament team after collecting 81 digs over the four matches combined.
DENISON topped Ohio Northern, 3-1, in its home opener on Wednesday, before traveling to Mount Union over the weekend and posting a 2-2 record with victories coming against Westminster, 3-1, and Grove City, 3-0. Freshman Olivia Buroker (Indianapolis, IN/Park Tudor) averaged 3.5 kills per set and posted a .309 hitting percentage in 16 sets on the week, while senior Elena Lein (Athens, OH/Athens) totaled 17 blocks (6 solo, 11 asst.) in the five matches combined.
DEPAUW is off to a 3-1 start with the three victories over Franklin, Alma and Bluffton all going to five sets. In fact, the Tigers were able to pick up the victories over Franklin and Alma after dropping the first two sets of the match. Senior outside hitter Lauren Falotico (Arlington Hts., IL/St. Viator), who was named to the All-Tournament Team at Bluffton over the week, finished the week with 70 kills, a .294 hitting percentage, 18 digs and seven blocks (2 solo, 5 asst.) in 18 total sets.
HIRAM opened the season by going 2-2 in Virginia at the Christopher Newport Captains Classic. The Terriers topped Meredith in straight sets on Friday and pulled out a five-set win over Susquehanna on Saturday. Senior Lindsay Brewer (New Franklin, OH/Manchester) was named to the All-Tournament Team after tallying 53 kills and 45 digs on the weekend.
KENYON began its 2015 campaign last weekend by splitting four matches at the Otterbein Tournament, earning a 3-2 victory over Capital on Friday and a straight-set victory over Berea on Saturday. Freshman Delaney Swanson (Sonoma, CA/Sonoma Valley) led the Ladies in Westerville with 55 kills (4.39 per set) and a .277 hitting percentage to go along with 48 digs, four blocks, four set assists and three aces.
OBERLIN fell in its home opener against Michigan-Dearborn by a 3-1 margin, but the Yeowomen rebounded by posting a 2-2 record over the weekend at the La Roche Tournament in Pittsburgh. Oberlin knocked off Alfred, 3-1, on Friday and also picked up a 3-0 triumph over host La Roche on Saturday. Sophomore Claudia Scott (Cibolo, TX/Bryan P. Steele II) is off to a fast start this season with 55 kills through the first five matches.
OHIO WESLEYAN dropped a 3-1 decision at Bluffton on Tuesday, but OWU returned to action over the weekend and strung together four-straight wins at the Mount Union Invitational against Grove City, 3-0, Bethany, 3-2, Denison, 3-1, and Westminster, 3-0. Sophomore Iris Anderson (Elk Grove, CA/Christian Brothers) and junior right-side hitter Shelby Ksiazek (Littleton, CO/Regis Jesuit) were both named to the All-Tournament Team at the UMU Invitational. In 14 total sets over the weekend, Anderson racked up 53 kills (3.78 per set), 37 digs, five blocks (1 solo, 4 asst.) and three aces, while Ksiazek accounted for 40 kills, 7 block assists, six service aces and six digs in 15 total sets.
WITTENBERG, ranked fourth in the AVCA preseason Top-25, traveled to Otterbein on Tuesday and cruised to a 3-0 victory over the Cardinals, before posting a 2-1 record at home over the weekend as part of the annual Courtyard Marriott National Invitational. The Tigers opened the tournament with back-to-back victories over No. 17 St. Thomas, 3-1, and Johns Hopkins, 3-0, before dropping a 3-2 decision on Saturday against No. 10 Juniata. Senior right-side hitter Kara Seidenstricker (London, OH/Jonathan Alder) was once again the focal point of the Tigers’ offensive unit by breaking two school records and tying another. In the loss against Juniata, she set two program records in the 25-point rally scoring era with 27 kills and 66 attempts, while her nine service aces against St. Thomas tied her own school record.
WOOSTER started its season with a 5-0 mark for the first time since 2011. Senior Savannah Moore (Burbank, OH/Northwestern) has impressed thus far with two triple-doubles and one double-double. Prior to Moore’s two triple-doubles last week, the last one in school history also occurred in the 2011 season. Moore first achieved the feat in a 3-1 victory over Muskingum on Friday with 10 kills, 15 assists and 12 digs, before adding 11 kills, 13 assists and 16 digs on Saturday in a 3-2 victory over Frostburg State. In 19 total sets on the week, Moore accumulated 48 kills, 44 set assists, 48 digs and 13 block assists.