Walsh holds off late ODU rally in five-set conference opener

Walsh holds off late ODU rally in five-set conference opener

NORTH CANTON, Ohio – The Ohio Dominican volleyball team had four players record eight or more kills in its Great Midwest Athletic Conference opener Friday evening, but the Panthers fell in five sets at Walsh.

The Panthers (0-12, 0-1 G-MAC), who rallied from two sets down, played in a five-set match for the second consecutive outing after falling to Mount Vernon Nazarene at home Tuesday evening, 3-2. ODU has now dropped four straight to the Cavaliers, who improve to 7-4 (1-0 G-MAC) on the season.

Freshman Emilee Fecht (Hilliard, Ohio) led the team with 16 kills and a .303 hitting percentage. Sophomore Abbi Gillson (Canton, Ohio) was also in double figures with 15 kills. The duo combined for three blocks as well.

Sophomore Amanda Remmetter (Springfield, Ohio) pitched in with eight kills and 12 digs. Freshman Kamryn Maxwell (Norwalk, Ohio) added the offense with nine kills and a team-high three service aces.

Remmetter was also one of three Panther players to record double digit digs in the match. Senior Allie Rutter (Fostoria, Ohio) led the way with 14, while freshman Carleigh Deitsch (St. Henry, Ohio) added 10 digs and an ODU-best 33 assists.

After dropping the opening two sets by scores of 25-13 and 25-23, ODU won the third set 25-23. Walsh led most of the third set, which included numerous six-point margins. The Panthers rallied from one of their largest deficits in the set with a 10-3 run to take an 18-17 advantage. Gillson and Fecht combined for three kills during the run, with Gillson also providing the set-clinching kill.

A tightly contested fourth set saw ODU jumped out to an early 6-2 lead after a pair of aces from Deitsch. With the set tied at 25-all, Fecht produced a kill and freshman Emily Amore (Newark, Ohio) followed with an ace to secure the frame at 27-25, and force a decisive fifth set.

Walsh however, controlled the final frame from the start, as they never trailed after scoring eight of the first 10 points. The Cavaliers went on to take the set, 15-7.

Ohio Dominican finished with 10 service aces, compared to Walsh's nine. The Cavaliers though, held an advantage in hitting percentage, as well as a 13-3 edge in blocks. The Panthers saw their streak of six consecutive matches with five-plus blocks come to an end.

The Panthers will look to bounce back quickly and pick up their first conference win of the season Saturday when they travel to face Malone at 1 p.m. in Canton, Ohio.

Contact: Tyler Jester