TIFFIN, Ohio—The No. 11 Heidelberg University volleyball team, 7-1 overall, will play four matches over two days—including two against nationally ranked opponents—at the Great Lakes Regional Challenge hosted by Wittenberg University, Friday-Saturday, Sept. 16-17. The Berg will play Alma (Mich.) College at 1:30 p.m. and The College of Mount St. Joseph at 6 p.m. Friday, and No. 1 Calvin (Mich.) College and No. 13 Hope (Mich.) College at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday at Pam Evans Smith Arena in Springfield, Ohio.
Heidelberg is coming off last weekend’s Charlie Wrublewski Tournament hosted by The College of Mount St. Joseph, in which it went 2-1, defeating Thomas More (Ky.) College and Mount St. Joseph, but losing to No. 3 Wittenberg. Despite the loss, the Berg maintained its No. 11 ranking in the American Volleyball Coaches Association top-25 poll.
Heidelberg will utilize a widely-spread offensive attack, led by four hitters—sophomore middle hitter Amber Welfle (Norwalk/St. Paul), junior second-team All-OAC middle hitter Marian Bevington (Celina/Parkway), senior reigning Ohio Athletic Conference player of the year Jackie Reinhart (New Riegel) and senior second-team All-OAC outside hitter Venessa Haase (Miamisburg)—who are averaging more than 2.00 kills per set. Junior setter Rachel Ferguson (Brighton, Mich./Brighton) has shouldered much of the guidance on offense, tallying a team-high 87 assists and a 6.67 assists per set average.
Defensively, freshman defensive specialist Tessa Benanzer (Fort Loramie) has 67 digs and averages 5.15 digs per set, while Bevington has blocked a team-high 19 attacks.
Alma is currently 5-2, while Mount St. Joseph, which the Berg defeated by a 3-1 count last weekend, is 2-7 overall. Defending NCAA champion Calvin (7-0) and Hope (6-0) both boast perfect records.
Following this weekend’s tournament, Heidelberg will return to Tiffin to open Ohio Athletic Conference play against Wilmington College on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at Seiberling Gymnasium at 7 p.m.