VB: Berg splits a tri-match

(Photos by Mason Hainey)
(Photos by Mason Hainey)

TIFFIN -- The Heidelberg University volleyball team split a tri-match on Saturday -- falling to OAC-leading Otterbein in five sets before sweeping non-conference foe Albion.  Right side Morgan Strenk set a career high with 23 kills in the loss to Otterbein and surpassed the 900 kill plateau in the win over Albion.

Heidelberg's record moved to 17-7 overall, 3-2 in the Ohio Athletic Conference.  

KEY STATS:

Heidelberg had 19 blocks on the day, 13 vs. Otterbein and six vs. Albion.  

Strenk finished with 34 kills on the day to lead the Student Princes.  Laura Schrag also reached double figures in both contests.

Anna McNabb dished out 84 assists, (47 vs. OTT, 37 vs. ALB).

The Taylors each had 10+ digs in both games.  Taylor Arbogast had 26 and 19 while Taylor Valentine had 15 and 13.  

GAME ONE: OTTERBEIN 3  HEIDELBERG 2 (25-20, 26-24, 23-25, 16-25,15-10)

After dropping the first set to the Cardinals, Heidelberg took a quick 5-1 lead in the second.  The battle-tested Cards weathered the storm and tied the match at six, then eventually built a 12-8 lead with an 11-3 run.  HU battled back to tie the set at 15 before Otterbein pulled ahead again with three straight. Down 23-20, two kills by Strenk and one by Alyssa Crusey drew HU back to even.  The visitors took three of the final four points to take a 2-0 lead.

The third set was tight throughout.  Heidelberg turned up with a 22-19 lead, punctuated by a kill from Amy Feczer.  After a timeout, Otterbein grabbed the next two points. A Feczer kill and a Cardinal error put HU on the brink of the victory.  Up 24-23, Strenk won the set with another kill.

Tied at six in the fourth, Heidelberg embarked on a 5-1 run to take control.  From there, the Cardinals would be unable to crawl any closer than three as Heidelberg waltzed away with the set.  

Unfortunately for Heidelberg, Otterbein stormed out to an 8-1 lead in the fifth set.  Heidelberg was unable to gain much momentum as the Cardinals took the fifth set handily.  

Otterbein's Andrea Miller had a game-high 65 assists while four Cardinals had 10+ kills.

GAME TWO:  HEIDELBERG 3  ALBION 0 (25-15, 25-23, 25-21)

Albion, which dominated Otterbein in the middle game of the tri-match, struggled mightily in the first set vs. Heidelberg.  They attacked at a .025 clip while Heidelberg hit .278.

The Britons righted the ship in an exciting second set, but still came up short.  Down 23-22, Heidelberg surged back with three straight, capped by a kill by Schrag.  

In the third set, Albion got out to a 7-3 lead.  With Crusey serving, HU scored six straight and led 9-7.  Undaunted, the Britons pounded out a 7-1 run and led 14-10.  Heidelberg battled right back, this time scoring eight in a row and 11 of the next 12 points.  Albion would get to within three at 24-21, but a Schrag kill capped the match.

UP NEXT:

Heidelberg visits Ohio Northern (15-7, 4-1 OAC) on Tuesday for another tough OAC contest. The match, slated for a 7 p.m. start,  will be shown live at Buffalo Wild Wings in Tiffin during the Heidelberg Athletics fundraiser from 6-9 p.m. .