After four weekends of play, the nine Horizon League volleyball teams turn their attention to League play this week as this past weekend was their final non-conference tournament.
Cleveland State at Blue/Gold Invitational
Cleveland State def. Radford, 3-2 (23-25, 20-25, 25-15, 25-16, 15-9)
Cleveland State def. Robert Morris, 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-16)
Cleveland State def. Toledo, 3-0 (25-11, 26-24, 25-14)
The Vikings won all three matches at Toledo’s Blue/Gold Invitational to claim the championship. The Vikings had a strong non-conference season as they enter League play with an 11-3 record. Christina Toth was named the Blue/Gold Invitational MVP after leading the Viking offense with 52 kills on the weekend, including a career-high 24 against Radford. Toth averaged 4.72 kills per set, and posted a .440 (52-8-100) hitting percentage. Grace Kauth earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team after combining for 49 kills and 35 digs on the weekend, including double-doubles against Radford (17K, 16D) and Toledo (14K, 14D). Gina Kilner was also named to the All-Tournament team after posting 136 assists on the weekend, including a career-high 56 against Radford. Kilner helped the Vikings to a .319 hitting percentage over the two-day tournament.
Green Bay at Miami Invitational
Green Bay def. IPFW, 3-2 (19-25, 25-19, 25-16, 26-28, 15-13)
Miami def. Green Bay, 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-20)
The Phoenix wrapped up its final non-conference weekend by splitting its two matches at the Miami Invitational. Green Bay defeated IPFW in the opener to extend its win streak to five matches. That streak was GB’s longest since November 2006. Overall, GB enters League play with a 9-4 record and has won seven of its last nine matches. The Phoenix put five players in double figures in kills in its 3-2 win over IPFW on Friday night, led by Megan Powers with 16 as she hit .517 for the match. Jillian Bauer (22 digs) and Lydia DeWeese (9 blocks) led the defensive effort.
Milwaukee at Wildcat Challenge
Lipscomb def. Milwaukee, 3-1 (25-17, 17-25, 23-25, 25-18)
Northwestern def. Milwaukee, 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-21)
The Panthers dropped both of their matches at Northwestern’s Wildcat Challenge. Freshman Maddie Williams had a strong showing for UWM as she led the team with 17 kills and also had a team-high .464 hitting percentage. Williams also had a team-best eight blocks,averaging 1.14 per set. Maggie Dunbar added 16 kills in two matches, while Sammi Herron had 15. Myanna Ruiz led all UWM players with 31 digs.
Northern Kentucky at Miami Invitational
Miami def. Northern Kentucky, 3-0 (25-17, 25-8, 25-23)
IPFW def. Northern Kentucky, 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 26-24)
The Norse dropped both of its matches at the Miami Invitational in its final non-conference weekend tune-up. NKU was led on offense by Jayden Julien, Haley Libs and Tristen Simpson who all finished the weekend with 14 kills. Mel Stewart had 25 digs in six matches and Keely Creamer had four blocks.
Oakland hosted the Golden Grizzlies Invitational
Oakland def. Western Michigan, 3-1 (19-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-18)
Oakland def. Eastern Illinois, 3-2 (23-25, 18-25, 25-15, 25-17, 15-13)
#13 Ohio State def. Oakland, 3-1 (25-23, 25-16, 23-25, 25-18)
Oakland def. Dartmouth, 3-1 (25-19, 29-31, 25-21, 25-13)
The Golden Grizzlies played at home for the first time this season and went 3-1 at their own invitational. Melissa Deatsch led Oakland with 15 kills as the Golden Grizzlies battled back from a 1-0 deficit to win their home-opener over Western Michigan in four sets. The next day, Jessica Dood had 18 kills as Oakland overcame a two-set deficit to win 3-2 over Eastern Illilnois. In Oakland’s final win of the weekend, Deatsch led the way again as she recorded a double-double with 20 kills and 10 digs in the Golden Grizzlies 3-1 win over Dartmouth. Deatsch finished with a team-best 53 kills on the weekend, while Cassie Pelloni added 50. Alli Gutschow had a team-best 58 digs. Sammy Condon led the team with 21 blocks on the weekend.
UIC at Denver Invitational
Denver def. UIC, 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-20)
UIC def. Abilene Christian, 3-1 (25-21, 25-19, 19-25, 26-24)
Montana def. UIC, 3-2 (25-9, 23-25, 16-25, 25-23, 15-11)
The Flames won one of three matches at the Denver Invitational. Defender Horizon League Co-Offensive Player of the Year Stephenee Yancy led UIC in its four-set win over Abilene Christian, finishing with 26 kills and a .383 attack percentage. Yancy finished the weekend with 56 kills and a .358 hitting percentage in 12 sets of action. Casey Harris had 15 blocks on the weekend, while Bridget Powell led the Flames with 39 digs.
Valparaiso at ISU Classic
Valparaiso def. Chicago State, 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-13)
Valparaiso def. Western Illinois, 3-1 (23-25, 25-11, 25-16, 25-18)
Indiana State def. Valparaiso, 3-2 (25-17, 25-22, 22-25, 22-25, 15-12)
Valparaiso won its first two matches of the ISU Classic and came back from a 2-0 deficit to force a fifth-set against Indiana State before falling to the Sycamores in the tournament finale. The Crusaders enter League play with a League-best record of 12-2. Allison Ketcham represented the Crusaders on the All-Tournament Team after averaging a team-high 3.00 digs/set for the weekend. Offensively, the sophomore stood out as well, hitting at a .354 clip while posting 2.75 kills/set. Emily Campbell and Ketcham both recorded 33 kills in the tournament for the Crusaders. Rachel Bruinsma had a team-best 10 blocks for VU in the tourney.
Wright State at The Citadel Tournament
North Florida def. Wright State, 3-2 (25-17, 23-25, 26-24, 19-25, 15-6)
Wright State def. UNC Asheville, 3-0 (28-26, 25-23, 25-23)
Wright State def. The Citadel, 3-1 (25-19, 22-25, 25-12, 26-24)
The Raiders won two of three matches at The Citadel Tournament to improve to 10-4 on the year. Katie Klusman was named to the All-Tournament team after leading the Raiders with 67 kills in 12 sets of play. She had 22 or more kills in all three matches. She also recorded a double-double in every match as she finished the weekend with 34 digs. Megan Hopkins also was strong on the offensive end for the Raiders as she finished with 41 kills and had a hitting percentage of .330.
Youngstown State at Butler Invitational
Butler def. Youngstown State, 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-21)
Southern Illinois def. Youngstown State, 3-2 (19-25, 15-25, 25-12, 25-16, 15-5)
Missouri def. Youngstown State, 3-0 (25-12, 25-11, 25-22)
The Penguins closed the non-conference schedule at the Butler Invitational. Freshman Sarah Varcolla led the YSU offense with a team-best 25 kills and also hit a team-best .231 on the weekend. She also led the team with four service aces. Jessie Gerig (33 digs) and Nikki Thompson (32 digs) led the Penguins defensive efforts.