At the midway point of the NCAC Volleyball schedule, nationally-ranked Wittenberg (5-0, 11-3) holds a half-game lead over DePauw (4-0, 15-3) for the top spot in the league standings; however, one of those squads will suffer their first league loss of this season this week as Wittenberg is set to host DePauw on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m.
ALLEGHENY dropped its lone match of the week against Oberlin by a 3-0 margin. Junior Leah Franzluebbers (Wethersfield, CT/East Catholic) led the Gators in the loss with nine kills and four blocks, while classmate Terra Schall (Kittanning, PA/Kittanning) tallied 12 digs to move into fifth on the program’s all-time list with 1,512 career digs.
DENISON finished the week with a 2-1 record, posting non-conference wins over Muskingum, 3-2, and Pitt.-Greensburg, 3-0, while suffering a narrow 3-1 loss against Hiram in league play. Senior outside hitter Rachele Lock (Chicago, IL/St. Ignatius) had 40 kills in 12 total sets on the week for an average of 3.33 kills/set, while junior libero Kristin Thewes (Austin, TX/St. Stephens Episcopal) was sound defensively for the Big Red with 60 total digs on the week.
DEPAUW, which appears in the “Others Receiving Votes” section of the AVCA Top-25, pushed its winning streak to five-straight with a thrilling 3-2 victory at Wooster. Freshman right-side hitter Morgan Stearley (Center Point, IN/Northview) had a breakout game for the Tigers in the victory as she smashed 26 kills and committed just seven hitting errors in 43 attempts for a .442 hitting percentage.
HIRAM posted a perfect 3-0 record last week with wins over Geneva, 3-1, Denison, 3-1, and Pitt.-Greensburg, 3-0. Senior outside hitter Marissa Jay (Parma, OH/Padua Franciscan) recorded three double-double performances on the week, highlighted by a 22-kill, 25-dig effort in the 3-1 win over Geneva on Thursday. In 11 total sets on the week, Jay racked up 56 kills, 52 digs, five aces and four blocks.
KENYON split a pair of matches on Saturday in Illinois as the Ladies dropped a 3-0 decision against host Greenville, before topping Westminster by a 3-2 margin. At 14-6 overall, the Ladies are just one win away from matching their 2015 win total with seven contests still remaining on the schedule. Sophomore outside hitter Delaney Swanson (Sonoma, CA/Sonoma Valley) once again led the Ladies on the week with 24 kills and 26 digs, which included logging 18 kills and 19 digs in the win over Westminster.
OBERLIN went 1-1 in NCAC action last week with a 3-0 victory over Allegheny on Wednesday night and a 3-0 loss at Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday. In the win over the Gators, junior middle hitter Dana Thomas (Cincinnati, OH/Summit Country Day) tallied 10 kills against just one hitting error in 16 total attempts for a .563 hitting percentage, while sophomore libero Emily Kelkar (Santa Monica, CA/Harvard-Westlake) paced the defensive unit with 13 digs.
OHIO WESLEYAN split a pair of 3-0 decisions against conference opponents last week, falling to No. 4 Wittenberg on Wednesday, before blanking Oberlin on Saturday in Delaware. Junior outside hitter Iris Anderson (Elk Grove, CA/Christian Brothers) led the Bishops in the win over the Yeowomen with 11 kills, while senior setter Shannon Schlater (Englewood, OH/Northmont) triggered the offensive unit with 25 set assists.
WITTENBERG, ranked fourth in the most recent AVCA Top-25, knocked off Ohio Wesleyan, 3-0, in its only action last week. Senior outside hitter Camila Quiñones (Sunbury, OH/Worthington Christian) was efficient for the Tigers in the victory as she posted 11 kills and just two hitting errors in 21 total attempts for a .429 hitting percentage.
WOOSTER rallied back to tie its match with DePauw at two sets each, but the Tigers knocked off the Scots by a 15-9 margin in the fifth set to post the 3-2 league victory. The Scots got a pair of double-double performances in the tight conference loss, with junior Ksenia Klue (Medina, OH/Medina) tallying 15 kills and 10 digs, and classmate Taylor Mathews (Dover, OH/Dover) finishing the match with 35 set assists and 12 digs.