TIFFIN – The Heidelberg University volleyball team opened up the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament in convincing fashion on Tuesday, sweeping Marietta. The Student Princes were consistent in each set, as they won 25-15, 25-14, 25-15. The win sends the Berg to the semifinals of the tournament, which they will host Thursday evening.
There was a drastic difference between the two sides in attack percentage in the match, as the Berg hit .270 while Marietta hit -.018.
Karlie DiRuzza recorded 41 assists in the match, bringing her season total to 1,148.
Heidelberg took control early off the serve of Jamie Kluding, scoring the first five points of the match to open up strong. Marietta was finally able to stop that run, but the Berg was able to maintain their lead, as an ace by Kluding later in the set forced a Pioneer timeout with the score 16-9. After the Berg built a commanding 22-10 lead, Marietta was able to rally for five-straight points, but it was too little, too late, as the Student Princes went on to take the set 25-15 after a kill by Parker.
The second set didn't start off quite as quicky for the Berg, as Marietta took an early 4-2 edge. That would be all they would see of the lead, however, as Heidelberg rallied for five-straight to take an 8-4 advantage. The Student Princes continued to extend their lead through the middle of the set, as a kill by Parker made it a 17-9 lead, forcing a Marietta time out in an attempt to slow the momentum. It did not stop the rhythm for Heidelberg, however, as they cruised to a 25-14 win in the set.
In the third set, Marietta was able to keep it close early on, as the Berg held a slim 8-7 lead, but a five-point rally gave the Student Princes a commanding lead. The Pioneers did not have a comeback in them, as Heidelberg took the set 25-15 to complete the sweep.
Heidelberg head coach Jason Miller on his team's performance: "We had more service errors and hitting errors than I would prefer ... but our team definitely came in and focused right away."
Miller on moving forward: "We need to do a better job of making some adjustments ... but at this time of year, it's win and move on and that's what we're really trying to do."
Heidelberg advances to the semifinals of the OAC Tournament, which will take place on Thursday at home. The Student Princes will take on 5th-seeded John Carroll at 7:00 p.m. in Seiberling Gymnasium. Due to the OAC rulebook, if Heidelberg wins to advance to the championship match, they will earn the OAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament due to being the outright regular-season champions.