By Chris Schmidbauer, Sports Information Director
Toledo, OH -- After a 4-0 weekend at the McHenry Invitational, the No. 1 ranked Owens Express Volleyball program got their first conference win over Lorain County on Wednesday night. The Commodores put a good fight up in the first two sets of the match before the Express were able to find their form in the third to put the match away in straight sets.
In the first set, the Express and Commodores traded points back and forth. Owens would never lead by more than two points throughout much of the first set. The two teams were tied at 22 a piece before the Express were able to reel off three straight points, capped off by a Shyah Wheeler. Sophomore Kayla Bekier had four kills in the first set, while freshman Tyriana Settles had three kills and a team high ten digs in the opening set. Freshman Rebecca Brown tallied 11 assists, continuing her streak from the weekend.
The second set started off on the wrong foot for the Express. Lorain would jump out to a 9-3 lead, forcing Owens head coach Sonny Lewis to call a timeout. Out of the minute break, the Express would break the scoring drought with their fourth point, but the Commodores came right back with two more points to take an 11-4 lead. The Express would fight back though, eventually tying the score at 17-17. Owens would take the lead for good at 21-20 in the second, and the Express would cap off the set with a kill by Bekier to win 25-20. Settle would tally six kills in the second set, while freshman Semira Neely would add five kills. Brown would add 13 more in the assists column as well.
The third set was a more lopsided affair. The Express would jump out to an 11-4 lead to begin the final set, and they would hold Lorain in the single digits until late in the set. Owens would end up winning the decisive frame by a final of 25-12 and sweeping the match 3-0. Bekier and Settles each had three kills a piece, while Brown netted 10 more assists.
For the match, Settles would lead the way in kills with 12 and tie for the lead in digs at 17 with freshman Olivia Materni. Bekier would tally 10 kills total and three block assists as well for the match, and Rebecca Brown added 34 more assists to her total on the young season.
The Express are now 5-0 overall and 1-0 in the OCCAC.
The team will play next in their own invitational this weekend. 28 teams from around the area will participate in the annual event, with the Express scheduled to play seven times throughout the weekend. Owens will play at 10 AM against Lansing, 3:15 PM against Henry Ford and 5:00 PM against Glen Oaks on Friday. On Saturday, they will play at 11:45 AM against Sandhills and at 5:00 PM against Schoolcraft. The Express will round out the weekend on Sunday with a pair of games. They will play Waubonsee at 10 AM and then face Erie at 11:45 AM. All of Owens's games will be on Court #2 which can be found in the main gym at the SHAC.
- Freshman Tyriana Settles was named OCCAC Division III Player of the Week on Wednesday afternoon. Settles averaged 4.50 kills and 1.64 digs per set over the weekend.. She attacked .296 (63-13-169) and posted eight aces, and five blocks, Settles was responsible for 74 points overall (5.29/set) during the teams four matches.