Volleyball team takes on Ohio

Julie Goldberg

The Wildcat volleyball team will be traveling to Ohio to play Ohio Dominican University and Tiffin University this Friday and Saturday.

The Wildcats traveled to Aurora, Ill. this past weekend and played in the Mizuno Midwest Region Volleyball Crossover Tournament, going undefeated.

“The team played very well,” head coach Dominic Yoder said. “Good serving performances from [senior libero Alex]Berger, [sophomore setter Jami]Hogeboom, [junior defensive specialist Megan] Dahl, [sophomore middle hitter Kayla]Chosa, [sophomore middle hitter Madison]Whitehead and [senior left setter Lisa]Studnicka led our team offensively. I also thought Hogeboom did a nice job running our offensive strategy.”

The ‘Cats began the tournament by sweeping the University of Missouri-St. Louis Tritons three sets to none.

The Wildcats won the first set with a close score of 25-22 and then won the next two in dominant fashion with scores of 25-12 and 25-13. The team posted a .333 hitting percentage in the match and limited the Tritons to a .024 hitting percentage.

The ‘Cats beat the St. Joseph’s College Pumas in their second match of the tournament three sets to one. The team won the first two sets 25-14 and 25-19, dropped the third set 25-20 and won the fourth set 25-20 to win the match.

The Wildcats were led by Chosa, who finished with a match-high 16 kills and a .375 hitting percentage. Berger had 26 digs and Hogeboom recorded 40 assists.

In their third and final match of the tournament, the ‘Cats beat the Bellarmine University Knights three sets to one. The Wildcats dropped the first set 25-19, but won the next three sets 25-21, 25-13, and 25-17.

Studnicka recorded 15 kills and had a .216 hitting percentage for the ‘Cats.Whitehead recorded 10 kills and a .360 hitting percentage and junior middle hitter Bridget Bussell had a team-high .600 hitting percentage for the Wildcats.

Chosa was named to the the all-tournament team for her performance. Chosa averaged 3.64 kills per set and recorded a .364 hitting percentage.

“We knew this past weekend’s games would be a challenge” Chosa said. “This tournament always brings good competition from the many conferences. The three teams we played challenged us in different ways that we eventually overcame and succeeded.”

The Ohio Dominican Panthers have a 11-10 record for the season with a 4-5 conference record.

The Wildcats beat the Panthers last season three sets to one. Whitehead led the Wildcats with 13 kills, and Chosa led the team with four blocks. Berger was the leader of the team in digs with 13.

The Tiffin Dragons have an 8-10 record this season with a conference record of 4-5.

Last season, the ‘Cats beat the Dragons in a three sets to none sweep. Junior middle hitter Anna Aycock led the team with 16 kills with Berger leading the team with 16 digs in the match.

“Road trips are fun. Columbus is a long trip that gives our team time to bond on the bus,” Yoder said. “For conference standings, they are pretty much must-win matches. Two wins will put us closer to our goal of a postseason berth.”

By winning all three matches of the tournament, the ‘Cats improved to 15-6 for the season and have won five consecutive matches.

“I’m pretty proud of where our team is right now,” Yoder said. “We are in a position to make a jump forward in how we understand and play the game. We are a young team that is learning to play pretty consistent volleyball-we just need to keep focus.”

Chosa added that the team has great potential and have shown that through several of their conference and nonconference games.

“We have a couple rough weeks ahead of us with facing some very talented teams,” Chosa said. “But I’m hoping that our hard work in practice will generate hard work and motivation into game play. We definitely have the skill and ability to end the season strong. We just have to go out there and prove it.”