COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Playing at home inside Alumni Hall for the first time this season, the Ohio Dominican volleyball team saw its late rally fall just short against Mount Vernon Nazarene in a five-set thriller Tuesday evening.
After dropping the first two sets 25-21 and 25-18, the Panthers hit .303 over the final three frames, winning the third and fourth sets both by a score of 25-20, before ultimately falling in the finale, 16-14. The former NAIA and American Mideast Conference rivals were meeting for the first time since 2009.
Sophomore Amanda Remmetter (Springfield, Ohio) led the offensive attack for ODU with 23 kills. Remmetter, along with freshman Emilee Fecht (Hilliard, Ohio), tied for the team high in total blocks with four. Fecht added eight kills and a team-best three service aces as well.
Remmetter and freshman Kamryn Maxwell (Norwalk, Ohio) each logged 14 kills over the final three sets, as the first-year Panther finished the match with 16. Maxwell also led the team with 14 digs. Classmate Carleigh Deitsch (St. Henry, Ohio) dished out a personal-best 47 assists.
Finding itself in an early 2-0 hole, ODU responded by hitting .406 as a team in the third set to keep the match alive. The Panthers used a 5-1 scoring run to stretch a one point lead into a 23-18 margin. Maxwell had two kills during the spurt, as the Black & Gold took the frame, 25-20.
The Panthers (0-11) then rode the momentum into the fourth game, a set they never trailed in. With the help of two aces from Fecht and a pair of kills by Remmetter, ODU led the fourth set 6-0. After the Cougars (15-4) closed the gap to two points, 9-7, the Panthers ballooned their advantage to as many as seven down the stretch. Another kill from Maxwell won the frame at 25-20 and took the two sides into a decisive fifth set.
MVNU led 8-7 as the teams switched sides one final time. Out of the brief intermission, two solo blocks from Fecht help ignite a 6-2 run for the Panthers, giving them a 13-10 lead. However, the Cougars responded with six of the match's final seven points to win the set and overall contest with a score of 16-14.
Overall, MVNU held a slight edge in hitting percentage, finishing at .292 to ODU's .232. Both sides logged eight blocks in the match as well. Over the five sets, there were 29 ties and 18 lead changes, including seven ties and three lead changes in the final set.
Ohio Dominican will now turn its attention to Great Midwest Athletic Conference play, as the team travels to Walsh and Malone this weekend. The Panthers begin conference action at Walsh, beginning at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 27.
Contact: Tyler Jester