GLENVILLE, W.Va. - Ohio Dominican's volleyball team started the 2011 season with a perfect 4-0 record en route to winning the Glenville State Tournament on Friday and Saturday.
The Panthers excelled both offensively and defensively, hitting .266 on the weekend with 22 aces while limiting the opposition to a .174 attack percentage.
On Friday, ODU took down Glenville State 25-15, 25-10, 25-11 in the opener and rallied in five sets to take down West Virginia State 25-20, 23-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-11.
In the sweep over Glenville State, ODU hit .387, with senior Rachel Billing (Anna, Ohio) leading the squad with nine kills. Junior Kristy Birkemeier (Columbus Grove, Ohio) and freshmen Brianna Reder (Maineville, Ohio) and Caitlin Kusan (Westerville, Ohio) had six kills apiece, with Kusan hitting .750 for the match and tallying six blocks. Freshman Kelsey Snyder (Macomb, Mich.) had 18 assists, junior Meredith Shifley (Galion, Ohio) finished with 13 assists, and Birkemeier had a match high 13 digs.
Against West Virginia State, Billing finished with a double-double as she recorded 13 kills and 13 digs, while Birkemeier also had 13 kills. Kusan had six total blocks and Shifley finished with 24 assists to lead the Panthers in those categories. ODU hit .280 in the fourth set and .263 in the decisive fifth set to put away the Yellow Jackets.
Saturday, the Panthers again had to rally in its final two matches, as the Panthers came back to defeat Kentucky Wesleyan 23-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-21, then took down Seton Hill in the finals 26-28, 25-21, 25-17, 25-19.
In the semifinal round, the trio of Billing, Birkemeier and Kusan all hit the double figure mark in kills, as Birkemeier finished with a match-high 18 kills, Billing had 15 to go along with a team—best 13 digs, and Kusan hit .667 with 10 kills. The duo of Shifley (28) and Snyder (22) again led in assists, while senior libero Stacy Rogg (Cincinnati, Ohio) had 17 digs.
Facing the Griffins in the title game, ODU hit .352 as a squad as both Billing and Birkemeier sparkled offensively. Billing had 16 kills with just two errors in 40 attempts for a .350 hitting percentage, while Birkemeier had 15 kills with three errors in 34 attempts, hitting .353. Reder and Rogg led the defense, as the freshman finished with four stuffs and Rogg tallied 18 digs, while Shifley had 24 assists and Snyder had 22.
Billing led ODU with 53 kills on the weekend while finishing with 40 digs. Birkemeier had 52 kills and 32 digs, while Kusan hit .444 and tallied 32 kills with 25 total blocks. Shifley recorded 89 assists, Snyder had 79, and Rogg had a team-best 41 digs. Sophomore Emily Post (St. Henry, Ohio) finished with 27 total blocks to also lead the defense.
The Panthers will start conference play this weekend as ODU hits the road to take on Northwood on Friday and Lake Superior State on Saturday.
Contact: Scott Miles