ADA — The Wilmington College volleyball team pushed regionally-ranked Ohio Northern University to the brink Wednesday, but the Polar Bears rallied for a 24-26, 25-22, 19-25, 25-15, 15-9 Ohio Athletic Conference victory.
Wilmington led two sets to one, including a 26-24 win in the first set. Kieran Yarkosky had a kill late in the match. The win was the first set win for WC against ONU in more than a decade.
The hosts won 8-of-10 points to begin set two, which forced a timeout from Wilmington Head Coach Sophie Windover. Her team responded by not allowing deficit to grow any more. A Yarkosky kill later in the set setup Trinity VanDusen at the service line with her team down 19-14. The Zanesville, Ohio, native served an ace, and Bailey Pohlman followed with a solo block. ONU, on a kill from Wagner, would setup set point at 24-19. Two Polar Bear attack errors and a kill from Sofia Thomas fought off three of those set points, but Wagner put the ball down at 24-22 to tie the match 1-1.
In set three, Wilmington hit a .256 clip and took control in the middle of the set when Victoria Long served five straight times to give the visitors a 16-12 lead and force an ONU timeout. Long would eventually put away set point, putting the Quakers one set away from an upset.
Ohio Northern, which had lost only two sets to Wilmington entering the match in 22 years the Quakers have been OAC members, were a set from defeat, and a large reason for that was the 26 attack errors in three sets. Unfortunately for WC, the Polar Bears cleaned that up in the final two sets, tallying just three attack errors and hitting .412 and .356 in sets four and five respectively.
Wagner finished with 24 kills on 56 swings with 10 errors to lead all hitters while Kaidie Carstensen and Ava Ehlinger both had 14 kills for ONU. Grace Conrad assisted on 56 of the team’s 68 kills while Rachel Jennings turned in a 25-dig performance. For Wilmington, Thomas and Joy Bebe both had a dozen kills while Sydney Geibel had nine and Pohlman, who led the team with a .462 attack percentage, had seven kills to go along with five blocks including three solo. Setter Andie Dolven tallied 43 assists while libero Blake O’Brien had 19 digs.
Wilmington returns to Fred Raizk Arena for one final time this seaosn on Saturday. The Quakers will host a The University of Mount Union and Mount St. Joseph University in a tri-match at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. sity on Saturday.