TIFFIN – The No. 4-seeded Heidelberg University volleyball team bowed out of the Ohio Athletic Conference tournament with a 3-1 loss to the No. 5-seeded Ohio Northern University on Tuesday. The Polar Bears won the quarterfinal match 20-25, 25-21, 25-15, 25-23.
The Student Princes were doomed by an uncharacteristic 31 attack errors and seven service errors.
Heidelberg (19-12) played aggressively in the first set, notching 18 kills. Defensively, the Student Princes held Ohio Northern to six kills.
In the second set, Ohio Northern (19-9) regrouped and held HU to a .095 attack percentage.
The third set was a demoralizing drubbing by the Polar Bears. ONU made no attack errors in the set and won by ten points.
The fourth set was fairly even throughout the early going. A rally by the Polar Bears gave ONU a 22-17 lead. With their season hanging in the balance, the Student Princes battled back. Kills by Janessa Scott, Mariah Sullivan and Sarah Botts prompted a timeout by Ohio Northern. After the teams traded points, ONU was up 24-22. A Jamie Kluding kill and a setting error by ONU staved off two match points before Ashley Borchers won the match with a kill.
"Unlike the first time we played them, we just made a lot of unforced errors and weren't as consistent," said head coach Jason Miller, whose team swept ONU in Ada two weeks ago. "Things just weren't clicking the way we had hoped."
"Our seniors [Romie,Haase, Botts and Grace Samenuk] have worked really hard and have helped keep the Heidelberg tradition alive," said Miller. "They are great students and they have worked really hard for us."
The loss ends the season for the Student Princes, who finished in a second-place tie in the OAC.
Ohio Northern advances to face the No. 1-seeded Mount Union in the OAC semifinals.