By Bud Denega
SAN ANTONIO, TEX. — The Ohio Northern volleyball team split its two matches Friday during Day 1 of the Trinity Fall Classic in San Antonio. The No. 11 Polar Beas downed Mary Hardin-Baylor 3-1 (19-25, 25-20, 25-17, 25-23) before dropping a four-set decision to No. 10 Trinity, Tex. (23-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-17).
Senior Sydney Bapst (Grove City) paced Northern in its win over the Crusaders with a team-high 17 kills to go alongside three digs and one block. Fellow senior Chelsea Huppert (Bremen, Ind.) logged 15 kills, and a .483 hitting percentage, while also adding four digs and three blocks.
McKenna Jordan (Toledo / St. Ursula) chipped in 15 kills, as well, and nine digs. McKenna Hostetler (Plain City/Alder) led ONU in the digs department with 27, and Katie Wade (Battle Creek, Mich./Harper Creek) recorded a team-high 49 assists.
The Polar Bears, as a team, had 63 kills (.300 hitting percentage), 93 digs and 58 assists. The Crusaders registered 53 kills (.208 hitting percentage), 77 digs and 51 assists.
ONU recorded 47 kills (.199 hitting percentage), 66 digs and 45 assists in it loss to the Tigers. Trinity had 63 kills (.230 hitting percentage), 80 digs and 60 assists.
Huppert led the Polar Bears with 11 kills (.308 hitting percentage) and five blocks. Madison Kern (Loveland/Mount Notre Dame) logged nine kills, and Jordan had eight kills to go with her six digs. Wade also had six digs and a team-best 37 assists.
Northern — which now owns a 16-4 overall record — will continue play at the Trinity Fall Classic Saturday. The Polar Bears will battle Rowan (N.J.) at 11 a.m. (CDT) and California-Santa Cruz at 3:30 p.m. (CDT).