PITTSBURGH - Before the season began, coach Kevin Kitchen suspected some people might be playing a wait-and-see game with the University of Northwestern Ohio volleyball team. The Lady Racers lost six seniors from a year ago, counting for multiple All-WHAC and NAIA All-America awards.
Well, chances are no one needs to wait-and-see what this new crop of Lady Racers are capable of after they swept through another tournament, this time a 4-0 record at the Point Park Invitational. UNOH wins the tournament title while junior Emily Crowell was named the tournament MVP and junior Casey Gates was named to the All-Tournament team, her third straight All-Tourney honor.
The Lady Racers opened play Friday with a 3-0 win against West Liberty State (25-23-25-19-25-11), and followed that with a four-set win over University of Rio Grande (25-19, 26-24, 22-25, 32-30).
On Saturday, UNOH completed the sweep with a four-set win against Asbury College (25-22, 20-25, 28-26, 25-21), and a three-set win over host Point Park (27-25, 26-24, 25-22).
Crowell totaled 23 kills, 13 digs and four blocks in the Saturday matches, and Gates had 23 kills and 34 digs. Brittany Egbert had 22 kills and 12 blocks in Saturday's two matches, and Ellie Comes had 42 digs. Lauren Maxwell had 66 assists in the two matches.
The Lady Racers had 233 attacking chances on Saturday, and they were tacked with only 37 errors.
Next up for UNOH is a doubleheader on Tuesday when they face Columbus State Community College in an exhibition at 5 p.m. and NCAA Division III foe Otterbein University at 7 p.m. in Westerville.
The next UNOH home match is Wednesday, September 19, when it hosts UM-Dearborn in the Lady Racers' Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference opener. The match is also a Pediatric Cancer Benefit match for UNOH; all money raised through raffles, a bake sale and donations will be given to pediatric cancer research at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus.