TIFFIN, Ohio—After winning its third consecutive Ohio Athletic Conference championship outright with a sweep of Ohio Northern University on Tuesday, the No. 5 Heidelberg University volleyball team will close its 2011 regular season Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28-29 at the Emory (Ga.) Invitational in Atlanta. The Berg has matches against Washington & Lee (Va.) University and Lee (Tenn.) University at 2:30 and 5 p.m. on Friday, and tilts against No. 12 Juniata (Pa.) College and No. 2 Emory University at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Live stats for Saturday afternoon’s match against Emory will be available at http://www.go.emory.edu/LiveStats/VBall/XLIVE.HTM. Live video will be available at http://www.emoryathletics.com/information/webcasts.
The matches against Juniata (21-6) and Emory (29-2) will be the second and third for Heidelberg this season against 2010 Final Four participants. The Berg suffered one of its two losses to defending national champion and top-ranked Calvin (Mich.) College earlier this season.
The Tri-Color begins this weekend’s slate 28-2 overall and riding a 19-match winning streak, dropping just six sets during that stretch.
The offensive charge is led by junior second-team All-OAC outside hitter Marian Bevington (Celina/Parkway), who leads with 234 kills (2.72 kills per set) and a .349 hitting percentage. Three more have 200 or more kills.
Junior Rachel Ferguson (Brighton, Mich./Brighton) and sophomore Alexa Frank (Tiffin/Calvert) have handled the bulk of the setting this season. Ferguson has 532 assists (6.26 assists per set), while Frank has 329 (4.11 aps), and the duo has combined for 861 of the team’s 1,134 assists this season.
Freshman libero Tessa Benanzer (Fort Loramie) and Bevington lead the defense, with 404 digs (4.75 digs per set) and 95 total blocks (1.10 blocks per set).
Senior reigning OAC player of the year Jackie Reinhart (New Riegel) and senior two-time All-OAC outside hitter Venessa Haase (Miamisburg) will fill the stat sheet. Reinhart has 213 kills (2.39 kps), 30 service aces, 363 digs (4.08 dps) and 37 blocks (0.42 bps), while Haase has totaled 204 kills (2.40 kps), a team-high 41 service aces and 294 digs (3.46 dps).
Following its return to Tiffin, the Berg will host Muskingum University in a quarterfinal round of the 2011 OAC Volleyball Tournament on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.