The Heidelberg University volleyball and men’s soccer team will begin postseason play in the Ohio Athletic Conference Quarterfinals. Men’s soccer hosts Capital while volleyball travels to Marietta. Because of the inclement weather from Hurricane Sandy, both contests begin at 7 p.m on Wednesday, rather than Tuesday.
The Heidelberg University men’s soccer team enters the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament with an overall record of 9-6-3, 4-2-3 in the OAC.
In their past two matches, The Berg has drawn with John Carroll and Mount Union, 1-1 and 3-3 respectively.
Heidelberg defeated Capital at home during the regular season. A first half goal from Chris Koczak (Springboro) was the lone goal of the contest.
Heidelberg is led offensively by Koczak, a freshman, who has collected nine goals and 19 points. Senior Ryan Smith (Roanoke, TX/Keller) made a name for himself as a goalkeeper for the past three seasons, but in 2012, coach Brian Haley has placed Smith as a forward, with impressive results. Smith is second to Koczak offensively with six goals and 15 points, but leads the team in shots on goal with 22. Smith also is second on the team in assists with three. Sophomores Hamid Shariff (Columbus/Centennial) and Tyler Eoff (Oak Harbor) have tabbed four goals and one assist each for the Student Princes. Sophomore Nico Samaneigo (Huron) leads the Berg in assists with four and has taken 14 shots on goal.
The Capital University men’s soccer team enters OAC Tournament play on a five-match unbeaten streak after finishing the regular season with a 9-5-4 mark, including a 4-3-2 record in the OAC.
The Crusaders have experienced both peaks and valleys this season under first-year head coach Alan Yost. Capital posted a seven-match unbeaten streak, which included a 1-1 tie against defending national champion Ohio Wesleyan, from Sept. 7-29, then lost three straight before getting back on the
winning track to close the regular season.
Senior Al Argyris and sophomore R.G. Florey lead the Crusaders’ offensive attack. Argyris leads the team with eight goals and 20 points overall, while Florey has seven goals and three assists for 17 points. Juniors Nick Eley and Tim McCarthy enter postseason play with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Freshman Chris Mir-Salimi leads the team with five assists on the year.
The winner of the quarterfinal match will travel to Ada to face #1 seed Ohio Northern at 2 p.m. on Friday.
Both Heidelberg volleyball and Marietta volleyball find themselves in an unfamiliar position in the OAC tournament.
The Berg has been at home for the quarterfinal round of the OAC every year since 2006 and hosted the championships for the last three years. Marietta has earned a home match in the OAC tournament for the first time in 27 years.
Marietta (17-11 overall, 5-4 OAC) swept Heidelberg (18-13, 5-4) in Tiffin 3-0 earlier in the season. The Pioneers posted set scores of 25-23, 25-23 and 25-21 to upset the then No. 23-ranked Student Princes.
Sophomore middle blocker Rachel Hackenberg leads the team with 271 kills and a .284 attack percentage. Junior outside hitter Paige DeVriendt has notched 242 kills and outside hitter Alex VanGundy has 237 kills.
Sophomore setter Laura Mauer is first in the OAC with 1023 assists while senior libero Jen Braun anchors the back line with 580 digs.
Heidelberg features middle hitters Marian Bevington (Celina/Parkway) and Amber Welfle (Norwalk/St. Paul). Bevington leads the Student Princes with 375 kills and is second on the squad with 94 blocks. Welfle has 310 kills and a team-best 96 blocks.
Rightside hitter Jacki Street (Grafton/Midview), who notched her 1,000th kill this season, amassed 267 kills and 65 blocks.
Senior setter Rachel Ferguson (Brighton, MI) has dished out 706 assists. Sophomore libero Tessa Benanzer (Fort Loramie) is the defensive leader with 618 digs.
The winner of the match between the Pioneers and Student Princes will advance to the semifinals on Friday, hosted by the highest remaining seed.