By Tim Glon
TIFFIN — The Ohio Northern volleyball team fell in an exciting 25-20, 16-25, 21-25, 25-23, 15-6 Ohio Athletic Conference battle at league-leading Heidelberg Tuesday night at Sieberling Gymnasium.
The Polar Bears fall to 15-8 overall and remain in third place in the OAC with a 4-2 mark, while the Student Princes improve to 14-13 overall and 6-0 in the OAC.
Heidelberg scored 13 straight points in the fifth and deciding set to stay unbeaten and tied for first place with No. 9-ranked Mount Union in league play.
Heidelberg was led by Sarah Parker with 19 kills and Amber Welfle with 18 kills.
A kill by sophomore Heather Saunier and a hitting error by HU gave ONU a quick 2-0 lead in Set 5, but Heidelberg would score the next 13 points to take command of the match.
In the first set, Northern jumped to a quick 8-3 lead on the strength of a pair of kills by Sessler.
HU pulled within 10-9 with a 6-2 run and eventually went ahead 17-16 with three consecutive points.
A 4-0 run broke an 18-all tie and gave Heidelberg a 22-18 lead, en route to the 25-20 set win.
In Set 2, Northern used a 10-1 run to take a commanding 14-15 lead and a kill by Sessler gave the Polar Bears the set 25-16.
The Polar Bears used a 5-0 run and followed that with a 4-0 run to take a 13-8 lead in Set 3.
A kill by Hogrefe finished the 25-21 set victory.
But HU rallied in Set 4, gradually coming from 14-12 behind to win 25-23.
With the set tied at 22-all, Welfle and Parker had kills to make it 24-22.
A kill by Gillespie made it 24-23, but Jamie Kluding got a kill to end the set.
ONU hit .165 with 60 kills in the match, while HU hit .162 with 62 kills in the evenly-played contest.
The Polar Bears will return to action on Saturday with a 1 pm contest against John Carroll on Senior Day in the final regular season home match of the season.