DELAWARE, Ohio -- With a 3-1 win on Tuesday, the Heidelberg University volleyball team improved to 8-0 on the season -- matching the best start in program history. The Student Princes defeated host Ohio Wesleyan by a score of 25-19, 25-16, 23-25, 25-18. The 2006 team, led by All-Americans Morgan Magers and Emily Hurlburt, also started 8-0.
In Tuesday's take-down of the Battling Bishops, Olivia Cristian amassed a team-high 11 kills and had an attack percentage of .390. Amy Feczer had nine kills and no errors on 21 swings, finishing with an attack of .429. Alyssa Crusey had eight kills while Mya Morris had a strong evening with seven kills and a .385 attack.
Julianna Peña tallied 23 assists and Anna McNabb had 18.
Sophomore libero Sarah Oney notched 22 digs in the four-set match, followed by eight-dig evenings from Taylor Valentine and Peyton Miller.
As a team, Heidelberg had 13 aces, including five from Maddie Szawranskyj and three by Peña and Morris.
The first set moseyed out to a 17-17 deadlock, with neither side able to muster more than a two-point lead. From there, however, HU took control and closed the set on an 8-2 run.
The Tricolor would maintain momentum in the second set. HU built a 10-4 lead before a Feczer kill prompted an OWU timeout. Heidelberg was able to cruise to the win, capped by a powerful kill by Cristian that ricocheted off the back-row OWU player and into the bleachers.
The hosts would not go quietly. OWU took an 8-3 lead in the third and led 15-13 midway through. Heidelberg, however, had an ace up its sleeve -- literally. Szawranskyj rattled off all five of her aces as part of a 6-0 run that put HU on top, 19-15. Late in the third, The Berg held a 23-21 lead. The Battling Bishops would recover, taking the final four points of the set and avoiding the sweep.
Heidelberg did not mess around in the fourth. Perhaps a bit frustrated that they were unable to lock down the sweep, the Student Princes raced out to a 9-2 lead. OWU tried to claw their way back, but were not able to get closer than four points. A late 4-0 run for HU sealed the set and the match.
Though riding high to start the season, a true litmus test awaits the Student Princes this weekend at the Wittenberg Fall Classic. Heidelberg will square off against No. 4 Berry, No 15 Wisconsin-Whitewater and No. 14 Wittenberg.