It was another successful week in NCAC volleyball action as all nine league teams sit at .500 or better against non-conference teams, led by nationally-ranked Wittenberg holding a perfect 6-0 mark through the first two weeks of action. Conference teams return to non-league action this week, highlighted DePauw, Ohio Wesleyan, Wittenberg and Wooster all hosting multi-team events.
ALLEGHENY topped SUNY-Fredonia, 3-1, in its home opener on Tuesday, before posting a 3-1 record at home over the weekend at the Gator Invitational with wins over Bethany, 3-0, St. John Fisher, 3-2, and SUNY-Oswego, 3-0. Over the course of the week, senior libero Terra Schall (Kittanning, PA/Kittanning) racked up 114 total digs (22.8 dps), highlighted by a 28-dig effort in the home opener against Fredonia, while seniors Hannah Cubarney (Trafford, PA/Norwin) and Leah Franzluebbers (Wethersfield, CT/East Catholic) paced the offense on the week with 52 kills apiece.
DENISON finished last week with a 3-1 record, knocking off Mt. Vernon Nazarene, 3-1, in its home opener on Tuesday, before going 2-1 over the weekend at the Kenyon Invitational with a pair of 3-0 victories over Geneva and La Roche. Freshman outside hitter Emma Woerner (Novato, CA/Novato) paced the Big Red on the week with 46 kills and 33 total digs, which included a pair of double-double performances against Mt. Vernon Naz. (19 k, 12 d) and Geneva (10 k, 11 d).
DEPAUW, which appears in the “Others Receiving Votes” section of the AVCA Top-25, ran its winning streak to six-straight with a pair of wins on Friday at the IWU Barker Chevrolet Classic in Illinois against Aurora, 3-1, and No. 22 Elmhurst, 3-0, but the Tigers suffered their first losses of the season on Saturday against No. 25 Ohio Northern, 3-1, and host Illinois Wesleyan, 3-0. Sophomore right-side hitter Morgan Stearley (Center Point, IN/Northview) was named to the All-Tournament Team after finishing the four-match stretch with 50 kills, 23 digs and seven blocks.
HIRAM opened the week by dropping its home opener against Muskingum, 3-1, but the Terriers responded with three-straight wins over the weekend at Case’s Marcia French Memorial Tournament against Hilbert, 3-0, East. Mennonite, 3-1, and Buffalo St., 3-0. In the victories over Hilbert and EMU, the Terries combined for 30 service aces, which included 19 aces against the Hawks. Freshman Kiara Franks (Cleveland, OH/VASJ) was named to the All-Tournament Team after tallying 27 kills, 28 kills and nine blocks in the four tournament matches.
KENYON opened its home schedule with a perfect 3-0 record over the weekend at the KC Invitational, logging three-straight 3-1 wins over Geneva, Muskingum and Transylvania. The Ladies have now opened the season at 6-1 overall for the second year in a row. Sophomore right-side hitter Mackenzie Bruzzio (Flemington, NJ/Hunterdon Central) was a dual-threat in the three wins as she totaled 41 kills and 54 digs, led by a 14-kill and 28-dig effort in the victory over Muskingum.
OBERLIN went 3-0 at its own Invitational over the weekend, earning three four-set wins over Mount Aloysius, Marietta and Defiance. The Yeowomen held their opponents to a .109 hitting percentage, while the offensive unit had five different players post 20-plus kills on the weekend. Sophomore outside hitter Maura Gibbs (Wallingford, PA/Strath Haven) led the way with 42 total kills, 30 digs, six aces and six blocks, while sophomore outside hitter Lexi Mitchell (Fort Mill, SC/Providence Day) had 40 finishes of her own.
OHIO WESLEYAN knocked off Heidelberg, 3-0, in its home opener on Wednesday, before going 2-1 over the weekend at the Hanover Invitational with a pair of straight-set wins over Franklin and Centre. Senior outside hitter Iris Anderson (Elk Grove, CA/Christian Brothers), who had a double-double against Heidelberg with 13 kills and 15 digs, was named to the All-Tournament Team at Hanover after tallying 36 kills, 32 digs and five block assists in the three tournament matches combined.
WITTENBERG, ranked fourth in the most recent AVCA Top-25, dominated the competition over the weekend at Heidelberg University with three straight-set wins over Bluffton, Heidelberg and Thomas More. Senior outside hitter Maddie Fischer (Minerva, OH/Minerva) was named to the All-Tournament Team after finishing the weekend with 38 digs and 35 kills against just five hitting errors in 80 total attempts for a .375 hitting percentage, highlighted by a 15-kill and 19-dig performance against TMC.
WOOSTER opened the week with a 3-1 loss against Thiel in its home opener on Tuesday, but the Scots bounced back with a 3-1 record over the weekend at the Northwest Pennsylvania Challenge, collecting wins over SUNY-Oswego, 3-1, St. John Fisher, 3-0, and Alfred, 3-1. In the win over Alfred, senior outside hitter Ksenia Klue (Medina, OH/Medina) smashed a career-high 20 kills to become the first Scot with a 20-kill match since 2012. In the five matches combined, Klue racked up 63 kills, 59 digs and 10 total blocks (1 s, 9 a).