By Tim Glon
UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS — Juniors Chelsea Huppert (Bremen, Ind.) and McKenna Jordan (Toledo/Saint Ursula) combined for 31 kills to lead No. 16-ranked Ohio Northern to a 25-23, 19-25, 25-20, 25-15 volleyball victory at John Carroll on Tuesday night at the DeCarlo Center.
The Polar Bears (11-3 overall) have now won their Ohio Athletic Conference opener for an impressive 25th consecutive season.
The Blue Streaks fall to 10-4, 0-1.
Huppert finished with 16 kills on 32 attempts with an impressive .406 hitting percentage.
Not to be outdone, Jordan had 15 kills on 31 attempts with an even more impressive .452 hitting percentage.
Sophomore Katie Wade (Battle Creek, Mich./Harper Creek) dished out 48 assists for Ohio Northern.
John Carroll was led by Cassi Calamunci with 18 kills.
In a tight Game 1, ONU rallied from a 22-21 deficit with three consecutive points to go up 24-22 and win the opener 25-23.
The Blue Streaks rallied in game two, scoring five straight points to take a 19-15 lead that was extended to 23-17.
Trailing 18-17 in Game 3, ONU rattled off six consecutive points keyed by two kills from Jordan and two aces from sophomore McKenna Hostetler (Plain City/Alder), to go up 23-18 en route to the 25-20 win.
Northern used an 11-3 run in Game 4 to take a commanding 15-8 lead that then grew to 22-12.
ONU had 54 kills and 16 errors on 143 attempts for a solid .266 hitting percentage, while JCU had 56 kills and 23 errors on 158 attempts for a hitting percentage of .209.
The Polar Bears will return home for the first time in nearly thee weeks on Saturday when they play host to Marietta at 1 pm at the ONU Sports Center.