#19 Volleyball battles to first-day split at the 2018 Midwest Invitational

#19 Volleyball battles to first-day split at the 2018 Midwest Invitational

By Blake Moore

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Ohio Northern women's volleyball program split two matches inside the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex in Grand Rapids, Michigan to open its weekend at the 2018 Midwest Invitational Friday evening, sweeping Elmhurst (Ill.) 3-0 in game one while falling 3-1 to No. 1-ranked Calvin (Mich.) in the nightcap.

Following the first day of the tournament, the Polar Bears overall record stands at 15-5 this season.

Ohio Northern would kick off their weekend posting a 25-18, 25-19, 25-22 sweep over Elmhurst. 

Junior middle hitter Chelsea Huppert (Bremen, Ind.) finished with 13 kills to guide the Polar Bears to the first-match victory. She would end the match with a .450 hitting percentage on 20 total attacks.

Meanwhile, junior defensive specialist/libero McKenna Hostetler (Plain City/Alder) registered 16 digs and four service aces.

In their match against Calvin, Ohio Northern would bounce back from a 2-0 deficit to capture the third set 25-14 and force extra points to be played in the fourth.

Junior outside hitter Sydney Fecko (Aurora/Trinity) set a new career-high with 14 kills on 36 attacks against the Knights. She would also contribute two digs in the battle of nationally-ranked teams.

Classmate Sydney Bapst (Grove City) would also register a double-digit kill effort, posting 12 kills on 28 swings for a .250 hitting percentage.

On the day, Huppert would lead the team with 22 kills while Bapst and Fecko tied for second with 18 kills each.

Freshman setter Kiki Carle (Cincinnati/Mother of Mercy) would register 62 of the team's 81 total assists on the night.

Defensively, Hostetler finished the day with 39 total digs to anchor the Polar Bears' backline after tallying 23 digs in the second match. Freshman Madi Ellis (Delphos/St. John's) would help lead the defensive efforts as she posted a team-high four total blocks on the day. 

Ohio Northern will conclude its stay at the Midwest Invitational tomorrow, Saturday, October 13, as they wrap up their 2018 nonconference slate against Susquehanna (Pa.) and No. 16-ranked Hope (Mich.). Match times are scheduled for 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., respectively, inside the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex in Grand Rapids, Michigan.