Nationally-ranked Wittenberg (5-0, 15-1) has built a one-game lead at the top of the North Coast volleyball standings following a straight-set victory over Ohio Wesleyan (4-1, 20-2) last Thursday. The race remains tight for places 2-4 in the standings as three teams currently sit with one conference loss, including Denison (2-1, 10-8), DePauw (3-1, 13-5) and Ohio Wesleyan. One of those teams will receive their second league loss of the season this week as Ohio Wesleyan is set to host Denison in Delaware on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m.
ALLEGHENY continued its strong play against non-conference teams last weekend as the Gators racked up three dominant straight-set victories in Long Island, New York, against St. Joseph’s (NY), Misericordia and New Jersey City. The Gators opponents reached 20-plus points just once last weekend in nine total sets. Sophomore setter Justine Kelly (Seattle, WA/Mountlake Terrace) was key to Allegheny’s success as she totaled 59 assists, 18 kills, a .386 hitting percentage, 17 digs and nine service aces in the three matches combined.
DENISON went a perfect 3-0 on its three-game homestand last week, highlighted by a 3-2 victory over Hiram on Saturday. The Big Red also picked up non-conference wins over Otterbein, 3-1, and Rose-Hulman, 3-0. In 12 total sets on the week, senior middle blocker Elena Lein (Athens, OH/Athens) posted a .528 hitting percentage with 37 kills and 17 blocks, which included tallying nine kills and a career-high 10 blocks (4 solo, 6 asst.) in the victory over Hiram. Lein, who has hit over .300 in 10 of DU’s 18 matches, currently leads the NCAC in hitting percentage (.333), solo blocks (19) and blocks per set (1.10).
DEPAUW extended its winning streak to four-straight following three victories last weekend against North Park, 3-0, Millikin, 3-1, and Wooster, 3-1. Junior Elisabeth Wilson (Carterville, IL/Carterville) posted a .414 hitting percentage on the week and also led the Tigers with 16 total blocks, while senior libero Keely McGrath (Indianapolis, IN/Cathedral) finished the three-match stretch with 64 digs, which included a 27-dig effort in the win over Millikin.
HIRAM dropped its lone match of the week on Saturday against Denison by a 3-2 margin. Senior Katie Barton (Newbury, OH/Newbury) posted a double-double in the loss with 19 kills and 10 digs, while junior Megan Schaefer (Elyria, OH/Elyria) dished out a career-high 43 assists in the five-set loss.
KENYON dropped a 3-0 decision against Rose-Hulman on Friday night, but the Ladies bounced back on Saturday with a pair of 3-0 home wins over Waynesburg and Manchester. Freshman middle blocker Schuyler Stupica (Sylvania, OH/Notre Dame Acad.) posted the third-best, single-match hitting percentage performacne in program history on Saturday at .667 after tallying 10 kills against just two errors in 12 total attempts against Waynesburg. She finished the week with 19 kills and a .484 hitting percentage.
OBERLIN dropped a pair of 3-0 decisions last week, first falling at No. 24 Case on Wednesday, before suffering a league loss at home against Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday. Junior Jillian Hostetler (Algonquin, IL/Dundee-Crown) led Oberlin with 13 kills against the Spartans, while sophomore Claudia Scott (Cibolo, TX/Byron P. Steele II) paced the attack with 10 kills and a .429 hitting percentage against OWU.
OHIO WESLEYAN, which appears in the “Others Receiving Votes” portion of the most recent AVCA Top-25, saw its school-record 19-match winning streak snapped on Thursday night with a 3-0 setback against No. 7 Wittenberg, but the Bishops quickly returned to their winning ways with a straight-set victory at Oberlin on Saturday. Sophomore outside hitter Brianna La Croix (Woodland Hills, CA/Sierra Canyon) finished the week with 24 kills and 15 digs, which included a double-double against Oberlin with 19 kills and 12 digs.
WITTENBERG, ranked seventh in the most recent AVCA Top-25, won its 56th-straight NCAC regular season match last week with a 3-0 triumph over Ohio Wesleyan on Thursday night. Senior outside hitter Kara Seidenstricker (London, OH/Jonathan Alder) led the Tigers in the first-place showdown with team-highs in both kills (15) and digs (12).
WOOSTER suffered a trio of 3-1 decisions last weekend in Indiana against Franklin, Anderson and DePauw. Junior outside hitter Lydia Webster (Fredericktown, OH/Fredericktown) logged double-digit kill efforts in the first two matches of the week with 12 against Franklin and 11 more against Anderson.