Volleyball Notches Sweep Over Urbana in Home Opener

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Senior Rachel Billing (Anna, Ohio) and freshman Caitlin Kusan (Westerville, Ohio) both hit .529 and Ohio Dominican's volleyball team scored a 3-0 (25-10, 25-15, 25-12) victory over Urbana in ODU's home opener Tuesday night at Alumni Hall.

With the win, ODU improved to 6-1 on the season, while the Blue Knights fell to 1-7.

Billing finished with a match-high 10 kills in 17 attempts and had just one attack error, and Kusan had nine kills in 17 attempts without an error to lead the Panther offense. Sophomore Tara Winner (Versailles, Ohio) had seven kills in 13 attacks and hit .385, while junior Kristy Birkemeier (Columbus Grove, Ohio) also had seven kills.

Junior Meredith Shifley (Galion, Ohio) led all players with 20 assists and freshman Kelsey Snyder (Macomb, Mich.) had 17. Billing notched her fourth double-double of the campaign with 14 digs and senior libero Stacy Rogg (Cincinnati, Ohio) finished with 13.

In the opening set, ODU led 10-6 and quickly extended its advantage to 20-7 with a 10-1 burst. Rogg had a pair of aces, while Winner and Kusan both had kills to help fuel the run.

The Panthers jumped to a 5-1 lead in the second set and the Blue Knights never challenged. Billing had two kills and Birkemeier added one to make it 8-2, and ODU would eventually double up the Blue Knights at 24-12 with kills by Winner, freshman Lauren Rindler (Rossburg, Ohio) and Kusan.

A 6-0 run in the third set put Ohio Dominican in control early, putting the Panthers in front 14-6. Winner had two kills, Birkemeier and Kusan also chipped in with a kill, and Winner and Kusan combined on a block to help the surge. The advantage would grow to as many as 13 points at 23-10 after a Shannon Nadler (Leipsic, Ohio) kill, and Nadler closed the match with another kill.

ODU never trailed in any of the sets and hit .312 as a squad while limiting Urbana to an .032 attack percentage. The Panthers also recorded nine service aces, with three apiece from Kusan and Rogg.

The Panthers return to conference action this weekend with a trio of road matches, starting at 7 p.m. Friday at No. 11 Hillsdale.

Contact: Scott Miles
miless@ohiodominican.edu