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Mount women's volleyball team begins play in the Wittenberg University Classic

Friday, September 13, 2013
by Dane Neumeister

The Lions kicked off play on Friday afternoon at the Wittenberg University Fall Classic, dropping a 3-0 decision to #8-ranked Otterbein University, and then losing 3-1 to Ohio Northern University, who also picked up points in this week's national poll. The Mount, 1-7 overall, will resume action at the Classic on Sept. 14 when they play top-ranked Calvin College and host Wittenberg University, ranked 10th in the nation.

The Mount got a well-rounded offensive attack in the first match of the day against Otterbein, as five different players chipped in six kills or more. The Lions, however, fell by set scores of 25-21, 25-12 and 25-23. Nicole Sherpensky (Cincinnati, OH/Northwest), who helped lead the way with seven kills and four blocks in the match, tied the first set at 20-all, with a kill but Otterbein rallied down the stretch to outscore the Lions, 5-1 to claim the win. Four of their final five points came on kills. The two teams played close throughout the early stages of set two, but with the score tied at eight-all, the Cardinals took off and raced out to a 17-9 lead, going on to the win. Game three saw a seven-all tie turn into a 16-10 Otterbein advantage, thanks to a varied attack. The two teams knotted the score at 18, 20 and 22 before the Mount's Jessica Wilgenbusch (Sunman, IN/East Central) put her team ahead, 23-22, with a kill. Another tie at 23 preceded Otterbein scoring the last three points in the set, en route to the win. The Cardinals completed the three-set sweep by scoring their last two points of the match on kills. Hannah Vanarsdall (Cincinnati, OH/McAuley) had six kills and 10 digs for the Mount while teammate Emma Beyer (Liberty Township, OH/Mt. Notre Dame) chipped in 10 digs. Janelle Davis (Convoy, OH/Wayne Trace) had 18 assists.

The day's second match saw the Mount push the Polar Bears to the limit numerous times, before falling short of the win. The Mount won the first set, 25-18, as they hit .308 as a team, collecting 18 kills. The Lions fell behind 5-2 but rallied to knot the score at 10 before pulling away, thanks to Wilgenbusch and Sherpensky, among others. Vanarsdall recorded a kill to make the score 21-15 and led the attack down the stretch. Vanarsdall had five kills and seven digs in set one, while Sherpensky chipped in six kills and two block assists. Davis added eight assists. ONU bounced back in set two, racing out to leads of 6-1, 7-3 and 13-3, thanks to an efficient hitting attack. The Mount was held to just nine kills in the set, falling, 25-12. ONU won set three, 25-16 as they once again led by large margins at the onset, including 14-7, en route to the victory. They out-hit the Mount in efficiency in set three, .238 to .122. Vanarsdall, Sherpensky and Stephanie Chisholm (Cincinnati, OH/Oak Hills) led a strong Lions' attack in set four, leading their team to a 12-6 advantage. A kill by Wilgenbusch gave the Mount a 15-13 lead, before ONU rallied to knot the score at 17. The Polar Bears gained control of the set, and the match at that point, as they produced a three-prong hitting attack to jump out to a 23-18 lead. A kill by Hannah Mossman (Cincinnati, OH/Northwest) would bring the Lions to within five points, 25-19, but ONU would gain the win, 25-19, on a match-ending kill. Vanarsdall led four Mount players in double-figure kill totals, registering 13, while adding 18 digs. Davis added 33 assists and 13 digs while Wilgenbusch had 10 kills and 12 digs. Sherpensky had four block assists while Beyer had 18 digs.

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