Volleyball sweeps John Carroll to clinch spot in OAC Tournament on Senior Day

Volleyball sweeps John Carroll to clinch spot in OAC Tournament on Senior Day

By: Andrew Korba

ADA -- The Ohio Northern volleyball team posted a straight set (25-14, 25-17, 25-19) victory over John Carroll on Saturday afternoon at the ONU Sports Center.

The Polar Bears improve to 16-8 on the season and 5-2 in OAC play, while the Blue Streaks fall to 18-9, 4-3.

With the win, Northern also clinched its 30th consecutive appearance in the OAC Tournament.

The Polar Bears also celebrated Senior day, honoring senior's Katie Karres and Jeni Kmic before the match.

Sophomore Kaitlann Hogrefe paced the Polar Bears with eight kills and a .467 hitting percentage.

Sophomore Ellie Gillespie and freshman Kristin Sessler finished with seven kills and freshman Claire Heitkamp had six kills and hit .462 for the match.

The Polar Bears used an early 3-0 run to open up a 7-3 lead in the first set.

A block assist by Hogrefe and Gillespie put Northern up 15-6.

But JCU would reel off five straight points to cut the ONU lead to 15-11.

Northern came right back with a 10-3 run, capped off by a service ace by Kmic to take Set 1, 25-14.

ONU came out in the second set and built a 13-6 lead midway through.

A kill from freshman Kelli Weininger put the Polar Bears up 23-12 for their largest lead of the set.

John Carroll would cut the Northern lead to 24-17, before an attack error gave ONU the set.

The Blue Streaks opened up a 18-13 lead in Set 3.

But Northern roared back, using a 12-1 run to close out the match.

The Polar Bears won the final 10 points on sophomore Heather Saunier's serve.

Saunier served three aces during the run, while Gillespie and Hogrefe each had two kills.

"I thought we played some solid volleyball today," said head coach Kate Witte. "We will continue to look to get better at the OAC Tournament gets closer."

Saunier dished out 16 assists and freshman Ashley Borchers added 12 more.

Kmic led the Polar Bears with a match high 16 digs.

Sarah Orlandi led the Blue Streaks with 11 kills, hitting .688 for the match.

Ohio Northern returns to action on Tuesday, when it travels to face off against Wilmington at 7 pm.