By Chris Schmidbauer, Sports Information Director
Toledo, OH -- It has been a busy month for the Owens Volleyball Program since their National Runner Up finish in the 2017 NJCAA Division II National Championships.
The program has four new signings that have happened over the past month since the end of the season and the coaching staff is working hard to replace the six sophomores that have departed after the past season. The Express will welcome Kara Schafer (Monroeville), Kiah Wendell (Fort Recovery), Kara Evers (Marion Local), and Kayla Bekier (Lake) this coming fall. Below is a little about each athlete.
Kara Schafer, Monroeville High School: Kara Schafer will join Owens after playing for the Monroeville Eagles. During her time at Monroeville, Kara was a member of the First Team All-Firelands Conference and she was Second Team All District Member as well. She is also a member of the school's basketball program, where she was a member of the Second Team All-Firelands Conference and an All-District Honorable Mention. She was also on the conference's All Academic Team as well. She is the daughter of Dave and Jackie Schafer.
Kiah Wendel, Fort Recovery High School: Kiah Wendel will join the Express this fall after a successful career for the Fort Recovery Indians. She has had several accolades during her career. She was Second Team All-M.A.C. during her senior season and Honorable Mention All-District. She was named her team's best defensive player during this past season, and she was also named the team's MVP for 2017. During Kiah's junior season, she was and Honorable Mention for the All M.A.C. Team and she also won the Coach's Award for the 2016 season. Wendel is a three sport athlete, who also competes in basketball and track and field. She has been on the All Academic M.A.C. team for all three sports during her high schoo career. Kiah is the daughter of Kim and Scott Wendel.
Kara Evers, Marion Local High School: Kara Evers will become a member of the Owens Express Volleyball program after a very successful career with the Marion Local. She turned in a terrific performance during her senior campaign. She was First Team All-M.A.C. this season and a First Team All-District selection as well. Evers also was named Second Team All-State and she was also named her team's MVP for this season. During the 2016 volleyball season, she was named Second Team All-M.A.C. too. Kara also plays basketball for the Flyers and she has been on the honor roll during her high school years. Kara's parents are Gene and Sharon Evers.
Kayla Bekier, Lake High School: Kayla Bekier joins the Owens Express after playing at nearby Lake High School. She finished the season as a member of the First Team All-NBC team this seaon and she was also First Team All-District. During her junior year, Kayla was Second Team All-NBC, All-District and All-Press. During her sophomore season, she was an Honorable Mention for All-NBC, All-District, and All-Press. Bekier is a two sport athlete, playing basketball for the Flyers during her time at Lake High School. She also garnered several academic honors as well. Kayla has been on the Honor Roll and the High Honor Roll as well. She also has received her Academic Letter. Kayla's parents are Leon and Cindy Baker.
Notes: Owens finished the season as the national runner up for the first time in NJCAA Division II and it is their highest finish since the team began competing at the Division II level. This season the Express finished the season at 40-1 overall. They finished with the highest winning percentage in the last decade for the volleyball program.