Volleyball Sweeps Gorillas To Conclude Middle Of Everywhere Classic

Volleyball Sweeps Gorillas To Conclude Middle Of Everywhere Classic

ROLLA, Mo. – Ohio Dominican's volleyball team wrapped up play at the Middle of Everywhere Classic with a sweep against Pittsburg State (25-18, 30-28, 25-23) on Saturday afternoon, hosted by Missouri S&T.

Junior Ciara Ralston (Findlay, Ohio) notched a season-high 13 kills, freshman Ashton Barr (New Castle, Ind.) registered 30 assists and junior Anna Ficker (Cincinnati, Ohio) finished with 25 digs to pace the Panthers, who hit .185 and limited the Gorillas to an .087 hitting percentage.

ODU controlled the first set from the opening serve, scoring the first six points, including two kills by Ralston and an ace from Ficker. PSU drew to within 8-5, but that was as close as the first set would get. Junior Patricia Barreto (Findlay, Ohio) had an ace to bump the lead to seven (13-6), and the Panthers would open up a lead as big as 11 (20-9) on three straight kills from Ralston.

PSU led 10-5 early in the second set, but the Panthers responded with a 5-0 burst, with Barreto and Barr contributing a pair of kills each. The Gorillas jumped back out by five at 17-12, but again the Panthers answered as junior Kelly Nadler (Leipsic, Ohio) had two kills, and junior Rebecca Skidmore (Westerville, Ohio) and freshman Alyssa Hoyng (Celina, Ohio) combined for back-to-back- blocks to make it 17-16.

ODU's surge continued as the Panthers grabbed a 24-20 lead on a pair of PSU errors, but the Gorillas answered and pushed the set beyond regulation. A Hoyng kill and a PSU error gave the Panthers a 30-28 win in the set.

The Panthers were forced to play catch up in the third set as they trailed by scores of 6-1 and 15-7 before closing in. Still down 18-12, ODU scored seven of the next eight points to draw even at 19-19, with Ralston and Barreto teaming on a block to even the set. An ace by Barr put the Panthers on top 22-20, and Skidmore's kill closed the match.

Barreto tallied seven kills and Hoyng added six kills on 14 swings, while Barr also chipped in five kills on just 10 attacks. Jordan Jaeckin (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) finished with 11 digs as well.

The Panthers bounced back from a 3-1 setback in their opening match of the day against Washburn (15-25, 15-25, 27-25, 20-25). With the third set tied at 9-9, ODU scored four straight points as Jaeckin had three aces and Hoyng added a kill. The lead stretched to 17-11 on Ficker's ace, and the Panthers had a chance to close the set out at 24-22 after Ralston's kill. However, WU scored the next two points, and tied the set again at 25-25. Skidmore closed the set though with consecutive kills.

ODU started the fourth set strong, leading 11-6, but the Ichabods would tie the set at 14, and pull ahead at 19-15 before ultimately taking the win.

Ralston and Skidmore each had nine kills, with Skidmore hitting .250. Ficker led a trio of Panthers in double figures in digs with 22, and Barr had 27 assists and 10 digs.

Ohio Dominican returns to Columbus for its home and G-MAC opener at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday against Cedarville.

Contact: Scott Miles