By Tim Glon
ADA — The No. 20-ranked Ohio Northern volleyball team swept Marietta 25-11, 25-16, 25-11 in the Quarterfinals of the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament on Tuesday night at the ONU Sports Center.
The top-seeded Polar Bears (20-7 overall) advance to the semifinals of the OAC Tournament for the 34th time in the 35-year history of the event.
ONU got 15 kills and three blocks from junior All-American Chelsea Huppert (Bremen, Ind.)
The eighth-seeded Pioneers, who end their season at 11-20, were led by Sam Ritenour with nine kills.
Northern took control from the onset, scoring eight of the first 10 points to grab a quick 8-2 lead. The lead stretched to 20-7 and 23-9 before a kill from Bapst won the opener 25-11.
In Set 2, the Polar Bears opened up a 4-0 lead only to see the Pioneers pull within 4-3.
Leading 15-10, a 4-0 ONU run would stretch the lead to 19-10 and a kill by sophomore Hope Williamson (Noblesville, Ind./Heritage Christian) would close out the set.
Ohio Northern would use a 5-0 run, capped by a kill from senior Josie Andres (Sunman, Ind./East Central), to take a 10-5 lead.
Another 5-0 run followed by a 4-0 run would stretch the lead to 23-10 and a kill by Huppert would end the match.
ONU had 45 kills and just seven errors on 84 attacks for its .452 hitting percentage, while Marietta finished with 27 kills and 15 errors on 92 attempts for a .130 hitting percentage.
The Polar Bears will return to action Thursday when they entertain fourth-seeded Baldwin Wallace in a 7 pm contest in the semifinals of the OAC Tournament at the ONU Sports Center.