By Caleb Scott
ADA — The No. 19-ranked Ohio Northern volleyball team opened Ohio Athletic Conference play with a 3-0 sweep over Mount Union on Saturday afternoon at the ONU Sports Center.
The Polar Bears improve to 16-3 overall and 1-0 in the OAC, while the Purple Raiders drop to 16-3, 0-1.
Sophomore Chelsea Huppert (Bremen, Ind.) led the way offensively for ONU with a game-high 14 kills while sophomore McKenna Jordan (Toledo/St. Ursula) chipped in 11 kills and senior Haley Potters (Wheelersburg/South Webster) added 10 kills.
Freshman Katie Wade (Battle Creek, Mich./Harper Creek) posted a game-high 39 assists to add to her nation-leading assists total, while senior libero Megan Nieszala (Lambertville, Mich./St. Marys Catholic Central) recorded a game-high 20 digs.
The first set was a back-and-forth battle until Northern used an 8-1 run to open a 15-7 lead.
After MtU pulled within 22-17, back-to-back kills from Potters extended the lead to 24-17 before a Purple Raider miscue sealed the set one victory.
After falling behind 9-6 in the second set, Northern would use a 5-0 capped by back-to-back kills from Wade and Potters to to gain an 11-9 lead.
A competitive battle would ensue as the two teams exchanged points before Huppert was able to break a 24-all tie and seal the set with back-to-back kills.
Mount Union would hold the lead for the majority of the final set before Northern used a 4-0 run to take a late 22-19 lead.
After the Purple Raiders battled back to tie the set at 22-22, kills from Potters and sophomore Sydney Bapst (Grove City), along with a MtU error helped Northern complete the sweep.
The Polar Bears return to action on Wednesday evening as it welcomes OAC-foe Otterbein to the ONU Sports Center for a 7 pm matchup.