Panthers Bounce Back with 3-1 Win at Findlay

Tara Winner
Tara Winner

FINDLAY, Ohio – Behind a season-high 21 kills from senior Rachel Billing (Anna, Ohio), Ohio Dominican's volleyball team rallied to take a 3-1 (19-25, 25-21, 27-25, 25-21) victory at Findlay in GLIAC South Division action Sunday afternoon.

The victory snapped ODU's two-game losing skid, moving the Panthers to 7-3 (2-3 GLIAC) this fall. Findlay fell to 3-6 (1-4).

Billing hit .346 for the match, finishing with just three errors in 46 attempts. Freshman Caitlin Kusan (Westerville, Ohio) tallied a season-high 12 kills in just 18 attempts, and sophomore Tara Winner (Versailles, Ohio) finished with 10 kills.

A back-and-forth opening set, featuring 12 ties and four lead changes, went the way of the host Oilers, who broke open a set that was tied at 16 with four straight points to take a 1-0 lead in the match. UF carried that momentum into the second set, building a 7-2 lead before the Panthers responded.

ODU scored 12 of the next 17 points, taking its first lead at 13-12 on a kill by Kusan. The Panthers pushed their lead to 18-13 behind a pair of Billing kills, a kill from sophomore Emily Post (St. Henry, Ohio), and a block by Billing and Post. Findlay drew as close as two points on a pair of occasions but ODU, which hit .355 in the set, held on for the win.

UF looked like it would regain the advantage as the Oilers grabbed an 18-13 lead in the third set. Billing, though, brought ODU back into the set with four consecutive terminations to make it 18-17, and Post and freshman Brianna Reder (Maineville, Ohio) teamed up on a block to knot the score at 18.

The teams swapped points, and Findlay served for the set at 24-23, but a Bailey Barker (Muncie, Ind.) kill evened the score at 24. Reder's block made it 25-24 in favor of ODU, and after a Findlay kill tied it again at 25, Kusan and Billing finished off the set with a pair of kills to ODU in front 2-1 in the match.

ODU used a 5-1 run to break open the fourth set, taking a 15-11 lead with a block from Reder and Kusan and kills by Kusan and Billing to take control of the set. The Oilers, though, came back to tie the set at 19, before Barker's kill put ODU back in front at 20-19. Barker had another termination to make it 22-19, and Billing closed out the match with consecutive kills to give the Panthers their second conference road win of the season, equaling their total of 2010.

Junior Meredith Shifley (Galion, Ohio) helped Ohio Dominican to a .271 attack percentage as she recorded a season-high 33 assists. Freshman Kelsey Snyder (Macomb, Mich.) tallied 17 assists and senior libero Stacy Rogg (Cincinnati, Ohio) anchored the defense with 21 digs.

The Panthers return home for a pair of conference matches in Alumni Hall this week, as ODU plays host to Lake Erie at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Ashland at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Contact: Scott Miles

Panthers Power Past Storm, 3-1
September 21, 2011 Panthers Power Past Storm, 3-1