By Chris Schmidbauer, Sports Information Director
Toledo, OH -- The Express brought their four game winning streak into the program's annual Owens Invitational, and they have continued to impress through the team's first five matches of the weekend. The Express are currently 5-0 in the tournament and are now 9-1 overall on the season. Below is a recap of Friday's and Saturday's Matches:
Match #1: Owens - 3 Muskegon - 1
The Express began their day on Friday taking on Muskegon. Owens would win the first two sets of the match, winning 25-22 and 25-15 respectively. Set #3 was a different story. The Express were narrowly defeated by Jayhawks by a final of 25-23. It was the first set Owens had lost in since they lost their first match of the season in Waubonsee Invitational a week ago. The team would regroup though, and they would dominate the fourth set to win 25-15. Kara Evers and Shyah Wheeler were dominant at the net. Each freshman has 10 kills each in the match. Sophomore Kennedy Ames was also in great attacking form, as she tallied nine total kills against Muskegon. She also had 7 digs in the match. Summer Sweeting and Kara Schafer would have 20 and 19 assists respectively. Freshman Kiah Wendel led the team in digs with 14. Owens moved to 5-1 on the season.
Match #2: Owens - 3 Oakland - 0
The Express would take the court again quickly to face off against Oakland. Owens would show no signs of fatigue in the first set. The team won the first set 25-16, with Kara Evers leading the way with four kills. The second and third sets were more tightly contested. Owens would have to play longer than usual, having to get to 27 points to win the set to the Raiders 25 points. The third set was another close affair. Owens would win the third set and the match on the back of a 25-22 final. Evers lead the team in kills for the second match with 11 total. Kennedy Ames was second on the team with seven kills and seven digs. Summer Sweeting was the team leader in assists with 19 total and Kiah Wendel led the team in digs for the second straight match with nine. Owens improved to 6-1 overall on the season.
Match #3: Owens - 3 KVCC - 0
Owens would get a lengthy break to rest before the final match of the day. The Express faced off against Kalamazoo Valley, and for the second time on Friday, they swept the Cougars in three straight sets once again. The Express took the first set by a commanding 25-11 score. The second set was a big tighter, with the Express winning 25-16. The final set was the closest of the match, with the Owens victorious by a final of 25-20. Michaela Eisenhauer was a one-woman attacking machine. She would lead the team with 16 kills to lead the Express. She finished with an impressive 68.1% attack percentage. Kara Evers would finish with six kills as well. Summer Sweeting was dominant setting up her teammates as well, leading the team with 23 assists. In total she had a total of 63 assists for the day on Friday. Kiah Wendel again led the Express with eight digs, while Kennedy Ames had seven. For the day Ames and Wendel would coming for 52 digs for the day. The team was 7-1 at the end of the evening.
Match #4: Owens - 3 St. Clair County - 0
Owens would not play their first match of the day until the afternoon. The Express would make quick work of St. Clair County, winning the match in dominant fashion. The first two sets were impressive for Owens. They would win the opening set 25-12. The second one was even better, with the Express winning 25-8. The Skips would make the third set respectable though. The Express won 25-18 to close out the match. Kara Evers and Michaela Eisenhauer each had eight and seven kills respectively during the match. Carlie Bengela would have five kills for the Express. Summer Sweeting would finish with 20 assists for the match and she also had three aces on serve too. Kennedy Ames and Kiah Wendel would combine for 28 digs in the match. The Express improved to 8-1 on the season with the win.
Match #5: Owens - 3 Kellogg - 0
There was no rest for the Express. They had a quick snack and then it was back to the court for their final match of the day against Kellogg. Owens showed little fatigue in the first set, winning 25-14. The second set was a little bit of a different story. Owens would lead 20-6 in the middle set, but a seven point win streak by Kellogg would make the score 20-13. After a timeout, the Express would regroup to win the set 25-19. Owens would make quick work of the Blaze in the third set, winning 25-12. Eisenhauer and Evers were a dynamite duo at the net. Eisenhauer had nine kills while Evers had eight. Carlie Bengela continued her good day, finishing the match with six kills. Summer Sweeting would have 20 assists again, and she also had three aces during her serve. Owens is now 9-1 overall for the season and 5-0 in the tournament.
- Owens will conclude their games for the weekend with two more matches. The Express will take on Hagerstown at 11:45 AM tomorrow morning. They will play immediately following at 1:30 PM against Waubonsee, who hosted last weekend's invitational. All matches begin at 10:00 AM tomorrow at the Student Health and Activities Center.