Purcell Continues Torrid Start, No. 9 @OwensExpress Volleyball Finishes Weekend 3-1

Taylor Purcell won the fourth and fifth sets vs McHenry County with kills. Photo by Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Taylor Purcell won the fourth and fifth sets vs McHenry County with kills. Photo by Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information

By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information

Wisconsin Dells, Wis.---The No. 9 Owens Community College women's volleyball team picked up a straight set win over Carl Sandburg College to bounce back from a tough loss to NJCAA Division I No. 12 Indian Hills Community College today in the Battle for the Dells Invitational.

With the split, Owens finishes the season opening weekend 3-1.

Match 1: Indian Hills (IA) d. Owens 25-20, 25-20, 26-24

Owens opened its second day of the regular season against an Indian Hills Community College team featuring plenty of height and five international players. Despite losing the match, they fared well as the team hit .304 offensively and had 41 digs on only one ball handling error.

The sophomore duo of Macy Reigelsperger (Coldwater/Coldwater, Ohio) and Erika Hartings (Coldwater/Coldwater, Ohio) produced 23 total kills with 13 and 10, respectively. Reigelsperger hit .444 and Hartings hit .409. Two more sophomores also fared well in that category as Ally Mikesell (St. Henry/St. Henry, Ohio) had four kills and .444 percentage, while Taylor Purcell (Bedford/Temperance, Mich.) had eight kills and only two errors.

In fact, through four matches, Purcell is averaging 2.83 kills per set - up from 1.16 her freshman year.

Those four players accounted for 35 of the team's 39 kills, and Deanna Smith (Riverview/Riverview, Mich.) and Christine Tylutki (Monroe/Monroe, Mich.) helped in that success as they produced 19 and 14 assists, respectively.

Defensively, freshman defensive specialist Brooke Gyori (Clay/Oregon, Ohio) had her third straight double digit dig total of her collegiate career with 13. Mikesell and Reigelsperger each added seven, while also each picking up one of the team's two total service aces.

At the net, Owens produced 11 blocks, with two being of the solo variety. Mikesell and Purcell combined for the solo ones, while freshman middle blocker Tyanna Smith (Bowling Green/Bowling Green, Ohio) had a team-high three assisted blocks. Mikesell added two, and four others had one apiece including freshman outside hitter Annie Lindeman (Ottoville/Ottoville, Ohio).

Match 2: Owens d. Carl Sandburg (IL) 25-18, 25-18, 25-14

Reigelsperger and Purcell each had 12 kills to lead Owens in the second match.

Despite Reigelsperger hitting .348, she was upstaged by Purcell, who had only one error over 16 attempts and hit a career-high .688. She has now hit at least .417 in three of four matches this year. Furthermore, her career-high 12 kills in the second match helped her eclipse the 200 career kill mark, and she now stands at 201.

Aside from those two, the team hit .333 overall. Hartings and Abigail Hesselschwardt (Otsego/Grand Rapids, Ohio) each added six kills while each hitting over .300.

Tyanna Smith (21) and Tylutki (17) each led the team again in assists as they combined for 38 of the team's 39 overall.

Gyori matched her season-high with a team-high five aces, while also leading the team with 14 digs. Tylutki added three aces, while Mikesell and Reigelsperger each had eight digs. 

At the net, Reigelsperger and Mikesell combined for the team's two solo blocks. Hesselschwardt (4) and Tyanna Smith (3) combined for seven of the team's 12 assisted blocks. Purcell and Lindeman each added two.

Weekend Recap

Through four matches, the sophomore trio of Reigelsperger (36), Hartings (34) and Purcell (34) are in a neck and neck battle for the team lead in kills, although Purcell leads the team with a .438 hitting percentage.

Deanna Smith (68) and Tylutki (54) lead the way in assists, while Gyori has team-highs in digs (55) and aces (11).

Six players have at least seven blocks with Tyanna Smith (12), Reigelsperger (10) and Mikesell (10) leading the way. Purcell and Hesselschwardt each have nine, and Hartings has seven.

Looking Ahead

Owens will take its 3-1 record into next weekend's Owens Invitational, which will be held in the SHAC Friday-Sunday. The schedule features six tough matches including contests against NJCAA Division I Wallace State Community College - Hanceville and two-time NJCAA Division II national runner-up and current No. 1 Parkland College.

On Friday, Owens will take on Wallace State - Hanceville at 2:30 p.m., followed by Lansing Community College at 7:45 p.m. On Saturday, they will face Vincennes University at 1:30 p.m. followed by Hagerstown Community College at 6:45 p.m. Then, on Sunday, they will close things out with an 11:45 a.m. match against Parkland and a 3:15 p.m. match against Jackson College.

All matches are expected to be live streamed on our YouTube channel here. You can also get updates on our Twitter account (@owensexpress). Plus, we'll also have highlights and post match interviews on our YouTube page.