By Chris Schmidbauer, Sports Information Director
Toledo, OH -- New year, same results. The Owens Volleyball program won all four of their matches at the McHenry Invitational, including two wins over Top Ten teams this weekend.
Match #1: Owens 3 Harper College 2
The Express were challenged right out of the gate, taking on No. 8 ranked Harper College to begin their season. Owens dominated the first set, winning 25-10. Freshman Tyriana Settles led on the attack with four kills and fellow freshman Arielle Snider finished with three in the opening frame. Freshman Rebecca Brown led the team with nine assists as well. The second set was a bit tighter at 25-22 to take a 2-0 lead. The Express would drop the third and fourth sets 25-18 and 26-24, but the team would rally back to win the decisive set 15-12. Settles and sophomore Kayla Bekier both finished with double digit kills in the match. Settles had 19 to lead the team while Bekier finished with 13. Brown led the team with a whopping 40 assists in the first match of the season. Freshman Semira Neely served four aces for Owens.
Match #2: Owens 3 College of DuPage 0
The Express showed little signs of wear from their five set match in the night cap against College of DuPage. Owens would win in straight sets, 25-16, 25-15, and 25-7. Once again, Tyriana Settles led the Express in kills with eight, while sophomore Shyah Wheeler would finish with five. Settles also had five service aces in Friday's final match. Rebecca Brown would net 14 assists in the match too.
Match #3: Owens 3 Rock Valley 1
Owens would begin the invitational's second day with another Top Ten matchup, this time against No. 5 ranked Rock Valley. Perhaps it was the early start, but Owens got a wake up call in the first set, when Rock Valley won 25-15. The Express would fight back though in the second set, winning 25-18. The match was tied at 1-1, before Owens would win a close third set. 25-22. With a set advantage heading to the fourth, Owens would put away the Golden Eagles 25-12. Tyriana Settles continued her hot start to the season, leading the way in kills again with 19 total in the match. Rebecca Brown would grab 40 more assists in the match as well. Kayla Bekier would add nine kills of her own in the win over Rock Valley.
Match #4: Owens 3 Sauk Valley 0
The Express would close out play with a straight set win over Sauk Valley. Owens won 25-21, 25-16, and 25-15 to close out their undefeated weekend. Tyriana Settles finished with 17 kills in the match to lead the way once more, while Semira Neely added seven kills. Kayla Bekier also finished with six kills on the attack. Rebecca Brown was an assist machine again, garnering 31 more. Freshman Olivia Materni had 17 digs to lead Owens while Raelyn Hutchinson tallied 14 digs. Settles also had 12 digs.
Owens will now prepare for their 2019 home opener with a conference match up against Lorain County. The Commodores are 2-0 after beating Mercyhurst NE and Schoolcraft on Saturday. Both Owens and Lorain County were the District I/J representatives in the NJCAA Division III National Championship a year ago. The match is scheduled to being at 6:00 PM from the SHAC.