No. 23 Volleyball outlasts Heidelberg in 5-set thriller

No. 23 Volleyball outlasts Heidelberg in 5-set thriller

By Tim Glon

ADA — The No. 23-ranked Ohio Northern volleyball team outlasted Heidelberg 15-25, 25-17, 25-23, 21-25, 15-12 on Tuesday night at the ONU Sports Center.

The Polar Bears (16-7 overall, 5-1 Ohio Athletic Conference) got 15 kills and five blocks from freshman Madi Ellis (Delphos/Saint John's), 11 kills each from junior All-American Chelsea Huppert (Bremen, Ind.) and junior McKenna Jordan (Toledo/Saint Ursula) and 10 kills from junior Sydney Bapst (Grove City).

The Student Princes (17-8, 3-3) were led by Laura Schrag with 22 kills and 12 blocks.

Northern got back-to-back kills from Jordan to take a 10-7 lead in the fifth and deciding set.

A kill by Bapst made it 13-10 and a kill from Huppert gave ONU a 14-10 lead.

Heidelberg pulled within 14-12, but a kill by Huppert ended the match and gave ONU the victory.

In Set 1, HU raced to a 7-2 lead, only to see ONU tie the set at 7-all. Leading 14-13, Maddie Szawranskyj served four consecutive points to extend the Student Prince lead to 18-13, en route to the 25-15 win.

Szawranskyj served three straight points to open the second set and give HU a quick 4-2 lead.

In all, Szawranskyj accounted for 18 points on her eight service opportunities.

Trailing 5-3, ONU would go on a 15-4 run to take a commanding 18-9 lead and would go on to even the match at one set apiece.

Heidelberg again took an early lead in Set 3, only to see ONU go on a 6-0 run to pull within 19-18.

HU led 22-20, but the Polar Bears would score six of the last seven points, including the last three, to take the set 25-23.

The Student princes would again lead in the fourth set as an ace by Szawranskyj capped a 3-0 run to put the visitors ahead 19-14.

Northern clawed back within 23-21, but a kill by Szawranskyj would end the set 25-21 and send the match into the fifth and deciding set.

"We played well at times and not so well at times, but persevered and won the match," ONU head coach Kate Witte said. "I am proud of the way we battled and hung in there and came away with the victory."

Each team finished with 62 kills. 24 errors and eight service aces in the evenly played match.

ONU hit .193 for the match with 197 attempts, while HU hit .173 on 220 attempts.

Heidelberg finished with 14 blocks and 59 assists while ONU had 12 blocks and 60 assists.

The Polar Bears will return to action Saturday or their final regular season home match of the season when they entertain Capital in a 1 pm contest on Senior day at the ONU Sports Center.