Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, 5:30 pm - Rike Center, Westerville, Ohio - NCAA III Tournament 1st Round
Friday's Preview: #20-ranked Ohio Northern will be making its 30th NCAA III Tournament appearance in the 38-year history of the event on Friday when the Polar Bears face DePauw (Ind.) in the First Round ... ONU is an impressive 35-29 in its previous 29 tournament appearances, but is loooking to snap a 3-match losing streak in the tournament ... The Polar Bears received an at-large bid to the NCAA III Tournament with a 27-5 overall record. Ohio Northern shared the OAC Regular Season title with an 8-1 record and reached the finals of the OAC Tournament by defeating Marietta and Mount Union and falling at league-co-champ Otterbein in the finals. Northern enters the NCAA Tournament on a 19-match winning streak.
NCAA Tournament Appearances
Ohio Northern has the advantage in NCAA Tournament experience, making its 30th appearance in the 37 years of the tournament's existence. The Polar Bears have amassed a 35-29 record in its previous 29 trips, including a trip to the NCAA Semifinals in 2008 and a Runner-Up finish in 1989. Millikin is making its sixth NCAA Tournament appearance and its second in the past three seasons. DU is making its seventh overall appearance in the Championships after advancing to the second round last year. DePauw has earned berths in the four of the last five tournaments.
Polar Bears v the Tournament Field
Ohio Northern has a 6-5 record against teams that are competing in the NCAA III Tournament this year. ONU has defeated Thomas More (Ky.), DePauw (Ind.), Aurora (Ill.), Washington (Mo.), Clarkson (N.Y.) and Hanover (Ind.) and have lost to Carnegie Mellon (Pa.), Illinois Wesleyan, Wittenberg and Otterbein (twice).
ONU Individual Accolades
Five Polar Bears were named All-Ohio Athletic Conferece in 2017. Freshman S Katie Wade was named the OAC Freshman of the Year; senior L Megan Nieszala and sophomore MH Chelsea Huppert were named First Team All-OAC; sophomore OH McKenna Jordan and Wade were named Second Team All-OAC and senior MH Haley Potters was named Honorable Mention All-OAC. Nieszala and Huppert were named All-Great Lakes Region and Wade was named the Great Lakes Region Freshman of the Year.
NCAA Statistical Leaders
Ohio Northern is ranked 7th nationally with an average of 13.61 kills per set and is 9th nationally with an average of 12.73 assists kills per set and 2.17 blocks per set. Individually, freshman S Katie Wade ranks 5th nationally in assists per set at 11.07 and sophomore MH Chelsea Huppert is 23rd in blocks per set at 1.09 bps.
ONU Statistical Leaders:
All-Time Series: ONU leads the all-timeseries between the two schools by an 11-0 margin ... ONU defeated DePauw 23-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-22 on Sept. 9 at the illinois Wesleyan Invitational earlier this season.
Head Coach Kate Witte: Witte is in her 27th season as head coach with a 691-226 record, a winning percentage of .754 ... She is the all-time winningest coach in ONU volleyball history. She has posted a 22-19 record (.537) during her tenure in the NCAA Tournament, including a trip to the NCAA Semifinals in 2008.