Volleyball Cruises to Pair of Saturday Wins

Volleyball Cruises to Pair of Saturday Wins

CLARION, Pa. – Ohio Dominican's volleyball team hit .327 while limiting Goldey-Beacom and Urbana to a combined .032 attack percentage in sweeping the Lightning 3-0 (25-18, 25-10, 25-20) and defeating the Blue Knights 3-1 (25-17, 25-11, 23-25, 25-15) Saturday at the Tony Banner Invitational.

ODU (3-1) averaged 14.0 kills per set in the two matches, finishing with 98 kills and just 29 errors in 211 swings, and dominated the action at the net by tallying 36 total blocks compared to just 14 for its opponents.

Five players totaled 15 or more kills on the day, led by sophomore Tory Thompson (Quincy, Ohio), who hit .391 with her 21 kills. Classmate Lauren Kraemer (Kettering, Ohio) hit .452 with 19 kills and 11 blocks, freshman Jackie Oestreich (Brighton, Mich.) had 18 kills with a .306 attack percentage, senior Bailey Barker (Muncie, Ind.) registered 17 kills and hit .364, while sophomore Brianna Reder (Maineville, Ohio) rounded out the offensive leaders with 15 kills.

Sophomore Kelsey Fortney (Lorain, Ohio) paced the offense with 43 assists, followed by 31 assists from classmate Darby Slavin (Columbus, Ohio). Barker totaled 25 digs, Fortney finished with 24 and freshman Megan Hendershot (Galloway, Ohio) added 23.

Thompson and Oestreich were both named to the all-tournament team for their efforts on the weekend. Thompson totaled 37 kills, 33 digs and nine service aces in the four matches, while Oestreich had 34 kills while hitting .403 and blocking nine shots.

"This was a good weekend overall and I was pleased with our effort," head coach Sandy Rowley said. "We have some areas to work on but the girls played hard."

In the opener, the Panthers hit at least .280 in each set and held Goldey-Beacom to a -.011 hitting percentage.

The Panthers held a slim 16-14 lead in the first set before Oestreich delivered three consecutive kills and teamed with Kraemer on a block. Barker had a pair of kills to close the scoring for ODU and hand them the 25-18 win.

ODU jumped to a 9-3 lead in the second set on the benefit of several GBC attack errors, and the lead grew to double-digits at 17-7 on another error. ODU led by as many as 15 points in the set, and that would be the final margin as well at 25-10.

Another quick start staked the Panthers to an 8-3 advantage in the third set, but the Lightning answered and would take a 12-11 lead. However, ODU ripped off the next seven points, with Thompson delivering a pair of aces and Oestreich and Reder capping the run with a block. GBC drew within two, 19-17, but Kraemer had a kill and senior Emily Post (St. Henry, Ohio) had three straight terminations to give the Panthers a 23-18 cushion to help ODU pull away.

Kraemer had a match-high 12 kills in just 16 swings, Thompson had eight kills and Barker and Oestreich each finished with seven. The Panthers hit .315 for the match.

ODU stayed hot to begin its second match of the day against Urbana, using a 6-1 run in the first set to go in front early. Urbana would knot the match at 9-9, but the Panthers responded with a 9-0 burst, with Thompson chipping in three kills during that run, and the Panthers would lead by as much as 11 in the first set, taking a 25-16 win.

The theme of jumping to an early lead continued in set two, this time seeing the Panthers take a 10-3 lead after Hendershot set up Thompson for a kill. Leading 11-5, a 10-0 run by ODU bumped the cushion to 16 points in what was a 25-11 win. The Panthers hit an astounding .533, with 16 kills and no errors in 30 attacks.

The third set came down to the wire as the Panthers came back from a 17-14 deficit, eventually taking a 21-19 lead after an Urbana hitting error. But the Blue Knights would respond to tie the set at 22, then scored three of the final four points to force a fourth set.

In that fourth frame, ODU again jumped out early, going in front 10-4. The lead stretched to 17-10 on a block by Kraemer and Reder, and Urbana would not threaten the rest of the set as a termination by Thompson on Slavin's set sealed the win. ODU would hit .429 in the set while Urbana managed just six kills with seven errors.

Thompson tallied a match-best 13 kills, with Oestreich (11), Barker (10) and Reder (10) also in double figures. Fortney finished with 26 assists and 15 digs as well to lead the Panthers.

The Panthers continue tournament action at next weekend's Charleston Invitational, starting with a 2 p.m. match Friday against Alderson-Broaddus.

Contact: Scott Miles

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