By Tim Glon
ADA — Freshman McKenna Jordan (Toledo/Saint Ursula) had a double double with 13 kills and 13 digs to lead No. 23-ranked Ohio Northern past Baldwin Wallace 25-23, 25-16, 25-17 in the semifinals of the 2016 Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament on Thursday night at the ONU Sports Center.
The top-seeded Polar Bears (26-3 overall) extend their winning streak to 18 matches and advance to the OAC Tournament finals for the 25th time in the 33-year history of the event.
Northern also clinches the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament by virtue of advancing to the OAC Tournament finals as the league's outright regular season champion.
The NCAA Division III Volleyball Selection Show will air on Monday, November 7th, at 12:30 PM ET on NCAA.com. | Link |
The fifth-seeded Yellow Jackets fall to 24-6.
Northern will host second-seeded Heidelberg in the OAC Tournament finals on Saturday at 2 pm at the ONU Sports Center.
"Baldwin Wallace came out aggressive and played well tonight," ONU head coach Kate Witte said. "I'm proud of our team. We battled a tough opponent and got a hard-fought win. It's nice to have the NCAA Tournament bid locked up and we can now focus on the OAC Tournament finals on Saturday."
The Polar Bears have won 18 OAC Tournament titles and are 18-6 all-time in the championship matches.
Baldwin Wallace came out aggressive and used a 5-0 run to take a 13-12 lead in the opening set.
Northern responded with two kills from freshman Haley Potters (Wheelersburg/South Webster) and a kill from Jordan to regain a 15-13 lead.
BW fought back to tie it a 23-all, but a kill and an ace by senior Ashley Borchers (Russia) capped the first set victory.
In Set 2, ONU scored four straight points to take an early 7-3 lead and went on a 10-2 run to take a commanding 24-13 advantage.
BW led 3-1 early in the third set before ONU again took control. A 7-0 run snapped a 4-4 tie and gave the hosts a commanding 11-4 lead.
With ONU up 23-17, a kill by freshman Chelsea Huppert (Bremen, Ind.) and a kill by Borchers wrapped up the set and the match.
Potters finished with nine kills, senior Claire Heitkamp (Maria Stein/Marion Local) had seven kills, Borchers dished out 38 assists and had four kills and junior Megan Nieszala (Lambertville, Mich./St. Marys Catholic Central) had a team-high 13 digs for ONU.
Jordan added a match-high five service aces to go with her sixth double-double of the season.
The Yellow Jackets were led by Alisia Lortcher with 11 kills.
Northern hit .278 for the match with 45 kills and just 10 errors on 126 attempts while BW hit .177 with 40 kills and 17 errors on 131 attacks.