The tie at the top of the NCAC volleyball standings will come to a head this week as the two 5-0 teams, DePauw and Wittenberg, are set to square off in Greencastle, Indiana, on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. There are also seven additional conference contests on the slate this week, highlighted by Kenyon traveling to Wooster on Tuesday and Wittenberg hosting Wooster on Saturday.
ALLEGHENY dropped a pair of league matches last week against Wooster, 3-1, and Denison, 3-0. In the two matches combined, senior libero Terra Schall (Kittanning, PA/Kittanning) scooped up 31 digs, while classmate Justine Kelly (Seattle, WA/Mountlake Terrace) passed out 51 total assists.
DENISON went 1-1 in conference action, falling to No. 1 Wittenberg, 3-1, on Wednesday, before defeating Allegheny in straight sets on Saturday. Senior middle hitter Leah Reinfranck (Northbrook, IL/Glenbrook North) led the Big Red on the week with 18 kills, seven blocks and seven digs, which included a nine-kill, six-block and four-dig effort against the Gators.
DEPAUW, which is receiving votes in the AVCA Top-25, extended its winning streak to seven-straight with its sixth-straight 3-0 victory, this time dispatching of conference-foe Kenyon on Saturday in Ohio. In the first set of the win, the Tigers hit .514 as a team after tallying 18 kills and no attack errors. Junior outside hitter Suzanne Peters (Ft. Wayne, IN/Homestead) picked up her eighth double-double of the season in the victory with 13 kills and 14 total digs.
HIRAM kicked off the second half of its conference season with a pair of NCAC wins over Oberlin, 3-2, and Wooster, 3-1. Senior outside hitter Grace Wilson (Chagrin Falls, OH/Chagrin Falls) led the Terriers with 15 kills in the come-from-behind win over Oberlin on Wednesday, while freshman setter Lindsey Walker (Akron, OH/St. Vincent-St. Mary) was just one kill shy of a triple-double in the win over Wooster with 31 digs, 20 assists and nine kills.
KENYON suffered a pair of 3-0 decisions last week against Ohio Wesleyan and DePauw. Junior outside hitter Delaney Swanson (Sonoma, CA/Sonoma Valley) led the Ladies on the week with 18 kills and 18 digs, which included a double-double against OWU with 11 kills and 10 digs.
OBERLIN lost a five-set thriller at home against Hiram in its only action last week, as the Yeowomen led 2-1 after three sets, but couldn’t hold off the charging Terriers. Sophomore outside hitter Lexi Mitchell (Fort Mill, SC/Providence Day) posted her ninth double-double of the season in the loss with 14 kills and 11 digs.
OHIO WESLEYAN opened play last week with a 3-0 win over Kenyon, before posting a 2-2 record over the weekend in Michigan at the Midwest Invitational, bookending the trip with a 3-2 win over Adrian on Friday and a 3-2 victory over Elmhurst on Saturday. Senior outside hitter Iris Anderson (Elk Grove, CA/Christian Brothers), who had nine kills and nine digs in the win over the Ladies, was named to the Midwest Invitational All-Tournament Team after finishing the four-match stretch with 65 kills and 63 digs, which included a pair of double-double performances in the two OWU wins. She had 13 kills and 20 digs against Adrian, before adding 15 digs and a season-high 25 kills in the win over Elmhurst.
WITTENBERG, the nation’s top-ranked team in the AVCA Top-25, knocked off Denison, 3-1, in its lone match last week. Junior setter Karen Wildeman (Columbus, IN/North) notched her second triple-double of the season in the win with 47 assists, 12 digs and 10 kills.
WOOSTER went 2-1 last week, which included a key 3-1 win over Allegheny on Wednesday. The Scots also knocked off Akron-Wayne, 3-0, on Wednesday, before closing out the week with a 3-1 loss at Hiram. Senior outside hitter Ksenia Klue (Medina, OH/Medina) logged a pair of double-double performances on the week in the conference matches, tallying 19 kills and 10 digs against Allegheny, before adding 13 kills and 18 digs against Hiram. With 281 kills this season and 272 a year ago, Klue is now the first Scot with back-to-back seasons with at least 270 kills since KateLynn Riley did so in 2008 and ‘09.