Following the first full weekend of league play in NCAC Volleyball, four teams stand unbeaten against conference foes, including Denison (1-0, 6-9), DePauw (2-0, 12-3), Ohio Wesleyan (1-0, 10-4) and Wittenberg (2-0, 8-3). At least one of those teams will suffer their first conference loss of the season this Thursday as the marquee matchup for the week features Denison hosting Wittenberg at 7:00 p.m.
ALLEGHENY dropped a trio of matches last week, falling 3-1 in non-conference action at Pitt.-Bradford, before opening its NCAC slate with a pair of 3-0 losses at DePauw and No. 6 Wittenberg. Junior Leah Franzluebbers (Whethersfield, CT/East Catholic) tallied 26 kills on the week, which included an 11-kill effort at DPU, while junior Terra Schall (Kittanning, PA/Kittanning) totaled 48 digs in 10 sets to move into sixth on the program’s all-time list with 1,433 career digs.
DENISON went 2-0 last week with a pair of 3-2 victories, highlighted by a come-from-behind victory at Kenyon on Saturday. After playing their first 15 matches of the season on the road, the Big Red will host their first home match on Thursday night against No. 6 Wittenberg. In the two wins last week, junior middle hitter Leah Reinfranck (Northbrook, IL/Glenbrook North) posted an impressive .492 hitting percentage after smashing 37 kills in 65 attempts with just five errors. Reinfranck’s week was capped off by a career-high 24 kills in the win over the Ladies.
DEPAUW, which appears in the “Others Receiving Votes” section of the AVCA Top-25, opened NCAC play with a pair of convincing wins over Allegheny, 3-0, and Hiram, 3-1. In the two wins combined, the Tigers out hit their opponents, .216 - .070, while also averaging 13.1 kills and 2.57 blocks per set. Senior middle hitter Elisabeth Wilson (Carterville, IL/Carterville) led the attack with 21 kills, 13 blocks and six digs in seven total sets .
HIRAM opened play last week with a 3-2 non-conference win over John Carroll, but the Terries closed out the week with a pair of 3-1 league losses at No. 6 Wittenberg and DePauw. In Tuesday’s win over JCU, senior outside hitter Marissa Jay (Parma, OH/Padua Franciscan) broke the school record for kills in a match with 34. She went on to finish the week with 63 kills and 24 hitting errors in 177 attempts for a .207 hitting percentage.
KENYON suffered a 3-0 loss against Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Tuesday, before splitting a pair of 3-2 conference decisions over the weekend with a victory over Oberlin on Friday night and a loss against rival Denison on Saturday. Sophomore outside hitter Delaney Swanson (Sonoma, CA/Sonoma Valley), who finished the week with 52 kills and 29 digs, posted the second-highest single-game total in program history with 31 kills in the loss against the Big Red.
OBERLIN lost a pair of NCAC contests last weekend, dropping a five-set decision against Kenyon on Friday, before falling in four sets at Wooster on Saturday. Freshman outside hitter Lexi Mitchell (Fort Mill, SC/Providence Day) led the Yeowomen on offense with 35 kills over the two matches, while sophomore libero Emily Kelkar (Santa Monica, CA/Harvard-Westlake) paced the defensive unit with 27 total digs.
OHIO WESLEYAN, which appears in the “Others Receiving Votes” section of the AVCA Top-25, topped Wooster by a 3-0 margin in its only action last week. Senior right-side hitter Shelby Ksiazek (Littleton, CO/Regis Jesuit) led the Bishops in the victory with 12 kills and just three errors in 22 total attempts for a .409 hitting percentage, while senior setter Shannon Schlater (Englewood, OH/Northmont) finished the match with 30 assists, five digs and two aces.
WITTENBERG, ranked sixth in the AVCA Top-25, knocked off a pair of NCAC opponents at home last weekend with a 3-1 victory over Hiram on Saturday and a straight-set win over Allegheny on Sunday. Sophomore setter Karen Wildemann (Columbus, IN/North) led the Tigers over the two-match stretch with 40 set assists and 14 digs, which included a 23-assist and nine-dig effort in the win over Hiram.
WOOSTER split a pair of NCAC matches last weekend, falling at Ohio Wesleyan, 3-0, on Friday, before bouncing back with a 3-1 home victory over Oberlin on Saturday. Junior setter Taylor Mathews (Dover, OH/Dover) finished the week with a pair of double-double performances, highlighted by a 37-assist and 15-dig showing in the win over Oberlin. She also added four service aces against the Yeowomen.