#19 Volleyball drops tight-knit 3-2 decisions to Susquehanna (Pa.), #16 Hope (Mich.) to conclude 2018 Midwest Invitational

#19 Volleyball drops tight-knit 3-2 decisions to Susquehanna (Pa.), #16 Hope (Mich.) to conclude 2018 Midwest Invitational

By Blake Moore

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The No. 19-ranked Ohio Northern women's volleyball program closed its stay at the 2018 Midwest Invitational Saturday afternoon with a pair of 3-2 losses to Susquehanna (Pa.) and No. 16-ranked Hope (Mich.) at the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The Polar Bears, who fall to 15-7 overall on the season, finished the tournament posting a 1-3 record after defeating Elmhurst (Ill.) 3-0 and dropping a 3-1 match against tournament host and top-ranked Calvin (Mich.) on Friday.

In their first match against Susquehanna, Northern pulled out to an early 2-0 lead, defeating the River Hawks 25-22 and 25-23 in the first two sets, respectively. The River Hawks then reeled off 25-15, 25-21, and 17-15 set victories to notch the tournament win.

The Polar Bears would then battle Hope in a highly-competitive second match that included three sets requiring extra points to be played. Northern saw similar success early against the Flying Dutch, claiming 27-25 and 26-24 wins in the first two sets. However, Hope captured the final three sets 25-21, 26-24, and 15-10 to even the season series after ONU won the season's first meeting 3-0 in the Wittenberg Fall Classic on September 14.

Juniors Chelsea Huppert (Bremen, Ind.) and McKenna Jordan (Toledo/St. Ursula) guided the team offensively Saturday, each registering 28 kills.

Huppert would be named to the Midwest Invitational All-Tournament Team after recording a .225 hitting percentage on 80 attacks while adding five blocks to lead the Polar Bears in the defensive statistical category.

Meanwhile, Jordan finished the day with a .175 mark on a team-high 103 attempts and pitched in three blocks and seven digs on day two.

Sophomore setter Katie Wade (Battle Creek, Mich./Harper Creek) would lead the team with 65 assists throughout the two matches. She also provided 17 digs and five kills to aid the Ohio Northern efforts.

Defensively, junior defenisve specialist/libero McKenna Hostetler (Plain City/Alder) racked up 70 digs Saturday to top ONU after posting a team-high 39 digs on Friday evening.

The Polar Bears now turn their attention back to OAC play as Ohio Northern is scheduled to host Heidelberg on Tuesday night, October 16. First serve is set for 7 p.m. inside the ONU Sports Center in Ada.