By Blake Moore
ADA — The 2018 Ohio Northern women's volleyball team continued the program's long, storied tradition in academic excellence and achieved new academic team records during the fall semester, 28th-year head coach Kate Witte announced Wednesday afternoon.
During the fall semester, the Polar Bears posted a 3.47 team grade point average with five student-athletes recording perfect 4.00 marks in the competitive season. For their efforts, Ohio Northern also received the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award, which honors volleyball programs across the country that maintain a minimum 3.30 cumulative team GPA.
Additionally, a school record nine student-athletes were recognized on this season's Academic All-OAC team. Senior Josie Andres (Sunman, Ind./East Central), juniors Madison Broering (Saint Henry), McKenna Hostetler (Plain City/Alder), Chelsea Huppert (Bremen, Ind.), and Kristin Langston (Versailles), and sophomores Paige Hartings (Coldwater), Katie Wade (Battle Creek, Mich./Harper Creek), Christen Ware (Jackson Center), and Hope Williamson (Noblesville, Ind./Heritage Christian) each received the accolade for their classroom successes.
To be selected, players must be a sophomore or higher in academic standing, maintain varsity-level roster status, and have a cumulative grade point average above 3.50.
Huppert went on to gain additional academic honors this season, making an appearance on the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District First-Team and the CoSIDA Academic All-America Second-Team. With her selection, she garners Academic All-District accolades for the second straight campaign while picking up her first Academic All-America nod.
On the court, Ohio Northern compiled a 22-8 overall record, including an 8-1 mark against the conference loop to claim a share of their third consecutive OAC Regular Season title. The Polar Bears would go on to defeat Marietta, Baldwin Wallace, and Muskingum in the OAC Tournament to sweep both conference titles. From there, Northern received the school's third straight bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament where they fell in the opening round to UW-Whitewater during the regional rounds at Calvin (Mich.).