Volleyball opens ONU Invitational with win over Heidelberg

ADA, Ohio (September 16, 2022) – The opening day of the Ohio Northern University Invitational saw the Denison University volleyball team defeat Heidelberg University by a score of 3-1 (25-21, 25-21, 22-25, 25- 17) on Friday night in Ada, Ohio.

Denison hit over .200 percent as a team with 16 kills in each of the first two sets, and then hit .263 percent with 17 kills in the third set, but Heidelberg had only one attack error in the third set to get on the scoreboard down 2-1.

In all, the Big Red hit .225 percent for the match as Lucy Andersonwho was coming off a career-high 21-kill performance last time out in a 3-2 win at Earlham College, finished with 20 kills and a .432 attack percentage this time around.

Sidney Gossard added 11 kills on a .391 attack percentage, Natalie Hutras had 10 kills and hit .412, Kelly McCaskey reached double digits with 10 kills as well, and Cailey Johns finished with six kills and a .313 hitting percentage.

Coming off a season-best 43-assist performance in five sets during Denison’s last match, Kirby McKinnon was even better this time, finishing with a new season-high of 49 assists in only four sets.

In addition to putting four players in double figures in kills, Denison also had four players record double-digit digs, resulting in a pair of double-doubles for McCaskey (13 digs) and MacKinnon (11 digs). Alice Kempf led the Big Red with 15 digs while Jenna Corrao matched McCaskey with 13.

Denison took control of the first set with a 7-0 run featuring a kill from four different players and two aces from Kempf to go up 18-10, and then after Heidelberg got back to within three, Sophia Sobota and Johns recorded back-to-back kills before teaming up on an assisted block to put the Big Red comfortably ahead 23-17.

Denison then trailed 20-19 late in the second set before a 4-0 run bookended by kills from Anderson made it 23-20 Big Red; and then in the fourth set, Denison began to pull away at the halfway point going from up 14-12 to leading it 20-14.

Denison improved to 4-5 overall with the win while Heidelberg, which was coming off a 3-1 loss at North Coast Athletic Conference foe Hiram College on Wednesday, fell to 5-4.

Denison will continue action at the ONU Invitational tomorrow on Saturday, September 17, as the Big Red take on the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh at 10 am and Muskingum University at 3 pm

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