By Owens Sports Information
Toledo, Ohio---The No. 1 Owens volleyball team picked up two more straight set wins over Columbus State and Hocking this past weekend to clinch its third straight Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) championship.
With the victories, Owens is now 32-0 overall and 14-0 in OCCAC play. They are the lone undefeated team in the nation at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II level and will look to capture the program's first-ever undefeated regular season with wins over Clark State on Wednesday at 6 p.m. on the road and at home against Sinclair on Saturday at 2 p.m.
With wins over Clark State and Sinclair this week, Owens could capture its third straight undefeated conference regular season and push its OCCAC winning streak to 44. During Saturday's match, the Express volleyball program will be celebrating its 1997, 2002, 2007 and 2012 teams. The team is hoping to have as many members of those teams in attendance as possible as this year's team goes for a history making victory.
Owens will open postseason play Nov. 3-4 in the Region XII District F tournament at Port Huron, Mich.
Match 31: No. 1 Owens d. Columbus State 28-26, 25-12, 25-18
In the win over Columbus State on Friday,which clinched the OCCAC title outright, Owens was led offensively by Devon Heitkamp (New Bremen/New Bremen, Ohio) and Erika Angstmann (St. Marys/St. Marys, Ohio), who had nine kills apiece. Olivia Hermiller (Ottawa-Glandorf/Ottawa, Ohio) added eight kills, while Jordan Alt (Ottawa-Glandorf/Ottawa, Ohio) had six and Michaela Eisenhauer (Margaretta/Castalia, Ohio) had five.
As a team, Owens hit .330 over 109 attempts while holding Columbus State to a .140 percentage over 100 attempts. Summer Sweeting (South Central/North Fairfield, Ohio) led the team with 20 assists, and Carrigan Gray (Liberty-Benton/Findlay, Ohio) chipped in 18. Gray also had two of the team's three service aces.
Niki Polce (Huron/New Boston, Mich.) led all players with 16 digs, while Angstmann added nine. Sweeting and Cassidy Wlodarz (Cardinal Stritch/Oregon, Ohio) each added six. Gray finished with five.
As a team, Owens produced three blocks with Angstmann picking up a solo block and a block assist. Alt had the other block assist.
Match 32: No. 1 Owens d. Hocking 25-6, 25-8, 25-11
Then, on Saturday, Heitkamp once again had a team-high in kills with eight. Hermiller (7), Eisenhauer (6) and Ally Angstmann (St. Marys/St. Marys, Ohio) with four also contributed. Gray (19) and Sweeting (10) led in assists, while Sweeting, Wlodarz and Ally Angstmann had two service aces apiece.
Facing few attacks, Owens had just 19 digs as a team, led by Wlodarz with four and Erika Angstmann with three. At the net, Heitkamp had a team-high five block assists, while Alt and Madison Lammers (New Knoxville/New Knoxville, Ohio) each had two. Ally Angstmann had the team's lone solo block.
As a team, Owens hit .455 over 55 attempts, while holding Hocking to a -.116 percentage.
During Saturday's match, Owens raised money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation in the fight against breast cancer. The team hosted a raffle for gift baskets and autographed team items, and they had paper volleyballs on sale for $1 that were posted in rememberance or honor of people who have fought or are currently fighting cancer.
Owens has now hit at least .318 as a team in each of the past four matches. They have 20 matches with at least a .300 percentage this year, including 11 with at least .400.
As a team, the Express is hitting .323 overall this year, which would eclipse last year's finish of .296, which included Tyanna Smith's single season .412 hitting percentage. In fact, it is on pace to shatter the program's single season team record of .285, which was set in 2006. Thus, it would be the first time in program history a team has hit even .300.
Erika Angstmann, who hit .281 as a freshman, is now hitting .349 this year and has raised her career hitting percentage to .307. She needs just 19 digs to become a 500-500 player in kills-digs, and she also had 135 career blocks, including 29 of the solo variety.
Heitkamp is 29 kills away from 600 in her career. She also has 250 career blocks.
With her 20 digs this weekend, Polce has eclipsed 800 in her career. She now sits at 801 and she is producing 3.97 digs per set this year - up from 2.61 as a freshman. She also had 57 assists this year, which is more than three and a half times the number she had last year.
Gray, who eclipsed 1,400 career assists this past weekend, needs 60 more digs to reach 500 in her career.
As a team, Owens ranks fourth in the nation in kills/set at 13.45, fifth in hitting percentage (.323), seventh in assists/set (12.08) and sixth in points/set (17.3).