North Coast volleyball squads kicked off the league portion of the schedule last weekend with No. 8 Wittenberg (2-0, 12-1) and Oberlin (2-0, 6-7) currently sitting at the top of the standings with identical 2-0 marks, while Ohio Wesleyan (1-0, 17-1) and Denison (1-0, 7-5) also picked up opening weekend victories. Conference play continues this week with eight total matches on the slate, led by Wittenberg hosting Denison on Wednesday and Oberlin traveling to DePauw (1-1, 9-5) on Saturday.
ALLEGHENY extended its winning streak to five with a 3-2 victory over Pitt.-Bradford on Wednesday, but the Gators dropped their first two league games of the season over the weekend against DePauw, 3-1, and No. 8 Wittenberg, 3-0. In the win over Pitt.-Bradford, sophomore Terra Schall (Kittanning, PA/Kittanning) collected a career-high 41 digs, while senior Taylor Samuel (Toms River, NJ/Toms River) collected her 10th double-double of the season with 15 kills and 19 digs.
DENISON opened the week with a pair of non-conference setbacks against Mt. Vernon Nazarene, 3-1, and Bluffton, 3-0, but the Big Red bounced back on Saturday with a straight-set victory over league-rival Kenyon. Junior outside hitter Rachele Lock (Chicago, IL/St. Ignatius) paced the offense on the week with 32 kills and a .346 hitting percentage, while senior Elena Lein (Athens, OH/Athens) also added 21 kills and 13 blocks in the three matches combined.
DEPAUW posted a 2-1 record on the week, defeating Rose-Hulman, 3-0, and Allegheny, 3-1, before falling to Hiram by a 3-2 margin on Saturday. The loss at Hiram marked the Tigers first setback in a five-set match this season. In 12 total sets on the week, junior middle hitter Elisabeth Wilson (Carterville, IL/Carterville) accumulated 30 kills, 13 digs and 10 block assists.
HIRAM split a pair of five-set thrillers last week to go along with a 3-0 setback against No. 8 Wittenberg. The Terriers opened the week with a 3-2 loss at No. 25 Mount Union on Tuesday, but flipped that score on Saturday with a 3-2 league win over DePauw. Senior Emily Mortimer (Mogadore, OH/Field) finished the week with a pair of double-digit kill performances, collecting 10 in the loss against Mt. Union, before adding 11 in the win over DPU. In addition, senior Lindsay Brewer (New Franklin, OH/Manchester), the reigning NCAC Player of the Week, led the Terriers with 20 kills against the Tigers.
KENYON dropped three matches last week against Ohio Northern, 3-1, Oberlin, 3-1, and Denison, 3-0, despite 30 kills and 28 digs from freshman Delaney Swanson (Sonoma, CA/Sonoma Valley).
OHIO WESLEYAN, which appears in the “Others Receiving Votes” portion of the most recent AVCA Top 25, extended its school-record winning streak to 17-straight last week with four straight-set victories over Capital, Wooster, Marietta and Wilmington. Sophomore outside hitter Brianna La Croix (Woodland Hills, CA/Sierra Canyon) paced the Bishops on the week with 38 kills, a .341 hitting percentage and 23 digs.
WITTENBERG, ranked eighth in the most recent AVCA Top-25, extended its NCAC regular season winning streak to 53 last weekend with a pair of 3-0 road wins against Allegheny and Hiram. Junior middle hitter Kendall Farmer (Gurnee, IL/Warren Twp.) was extremely efficient in the two Tiger wins, totaling 16 kills and a .490 hitting percentage to go along with six digs and six block assists.
WOOSTER bookended its week with a pair of wins, topping Akron-Wayne, 3-0, on Wednesday and defeating Earlham, 3-0, on Saturday. In between, the Scots dropped a pair of league matches against Ohio Wesleyan, 3-0, and Oberlin, 3-0. In the win over Akron-Wayne, the Scots set a pair of school records after combining for a .392 hitting percentage and smashing 20 service aces.