Volleyball falls to No. 5 Hope (Mich.) in final match of Wittenberg Invitational

Volleyball falls to No. 5 Hope (Mich.) in final match of Wittenberg Invitational

By: Andrew Korba

SPRINGFIELD — The Ohio Northern volleyball team fell in straight sets to No. 5-ranked Hope (Mich.) in its final match of the Wittenberg Invitational on Saturday afternoon.

The Polar Bears fall to 5-5 on the season, while the Flying Dutch stay perfect at 12-0.

ONU finished the tournament with a 1-2 record and freshman Claire Heitkamp was named to the All-Tournament Team.

Freshman Kristin Sessler led the way for the Polar Bears recording teams bests in kills (seven), hitting percentage (.250) and digs (11.)

Northern did not hold the lead in either Set 1 or Set 2 and Hope used runs in the middle of each to win 25-15 and 25-13, respectively.

Set 3 saw the Polar Bears race out to an early 3-1 lead on kills by sophomore Kaitlann Hogrefe, sophomore Heather Saunier and Sessler.

After the Flying Dutch tied the set at 3-3, ONU would reel off three straight points to open a 6-3 lead.

But Hope would come roaring back and use a 9-3 run to take a 12-9 lead.

Senior Jeni Kmic had two service aces in a 4-0 run to allow Northern to jump back in front, 13-12.

The Flying Dutch would then use a 6-2 run to go back ahead 18-15.

Northern would not go away and battle back to tie the set at 20-20, capped off by a kill from Sessler.

Hope would close the set on a 5-1 run to win the set 25-21 and the match.

The Polar Bears had 27 kills and hit .068 for the match, while the Flying Dutch had 50 kills and hit .394.

Saunier led ONU with 20 assists on the evening.

Jenna Grasmeyer and Anna Lynch each recorded a match high 12 kills for Hope.

Ohio Northern will return to action on Wednesday, when welcomes Denison to the ONU Sports Center at 7 pm.