By Chris Schmidbauer, Sports Information Director
Toledo, OH -- With four more matches of the docket this week, the Owens Express Volleyball program kept on rolling, finishing the week undefeated once again and running their longest win streak of the season to 13 in a row.
Match #1: Owens 3 Clark State 1
The week started with a rare Tuesday match on the road at Clark State. It took the Express some time to get their legs going after the longer travel, as Clark State would take the first set 25-23. It was the first match that they had lost a set in since September 1. The first set loss motivated the Express as they would win the next three sets in dominant fashion. Owens won the last three sets 25-13, 25-18, and 25-7.
Tyriana Settles and Semira Neely would each finish with double digit kills. Settles led the team with 17 kills while Neely would as 13. Settles also led the team in digs with 16. Both Kayla Bekier and Olivia Materni each had five service aces as well to help propel the Express. Bekier also had eight kills to add to her stat line too. Rebecca Brown continued to dominate in the assists category, garnering 39 of the team's 42 total assists for the match.
Match #2: Owens 3 Lorain 0
There was no rest for the Express as they hit the road once again on Wednesday, this time heading to Northeast Ohio to take on Lorain. Much like the first match between these two, it was competitive throughout with Owens pulling out the win in straight sets. Owens would win 25-22, 25-20, and 25-12.
For the second night in a row, Tyriana Settles would lead the team in kills with 12, but Kayla Bekier would add ten kills of her own. Bekier also had three block assists ar the net. Semira Neely would finish with eight kills as well. Both Settles and Olivia Meterni would tally 17 digs a piece, which was tied for the team lead. Rebecca Brown would add 34 more assists to her season total.
Match #3: Owens 3 Sinclair 0
On Saturday, the Express would host their final regular season home double header. To start the day, Owens would take on third place Sinclair. The Express would dominate the first set, winning 25-8 over the Tartan Pride. But Sinclair did not go quietly. Owens would win the second set 25-21. The third set would go extra time, with the Express finally pulling out the set and the win, 29-27.
For the third straight match, Tyriana Settles (11), Kayla Bekier (8), and Semira Neely (7) led the team in kills for the match. Olivia Materni has six service aces in the match to go along with her team high eight digs. Rebecca Brown was a star at setting up her teammates, finishing with 32 total assists for the match. \
Match #4: Owens 3 Muskegon 1
The final match of the day was against Division II Muskegon for the Express. Owens would struggle to find their footing in the first set, with the Jayhawks taking the first set 25-23. Finding themselves in a 1-0 hole, the Express would grind out the next three sets, trading points with Muskegon. Owens would win the last three sets in what was a very competitive match 25-21, 25-22, and 25-20.
Tyriana Settles played another terrific all around match, leading the team in kills (13) and tying for the team lead in digs (20). Olivia Materni was a stalwart in the back row finishing with 20 digs as well. Kayla Bekier had 11 total kills while Semira Neely would have nine. Rebecca Brown would net 42 more assists to add to her astronomical season total. Neely led the team with five block assists while Arielle Snider had a solo block and four block assists.
Owens finishes the week at 20-1 overall and 8-0 in the OCCAC, which places them at the top of the league standings.
The Express have another busy week, with a trip to Champaign, Illinois at week's end at the highly competitive Parkland Invitational.
Owens will play on the road at Edison on Wednesday before heading to Parkland with matches starting Saturday. Owens will play three ranked Division II teams in four of their matches. The Express will play No.1 ranked Parkland, No. 13 rankled Illinois Central, and No. 18 ranked Lincoln Land.
- What a week it was for Tyriana Settles on the award circuit. Settles was named OCCAC Player of the Week for the second time this year on Tuesday. She was then named NJCAA Division III Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday morning. Finally, Settles was name the Sports Imports/AVCA Player of the week. She is just the second player in program history to receive the award along with former player Michaela Eisenhauer, who won the award a year ago.
- Owens has several players that continue to rank at or near the top in several statistical categories for NJCAA Division III. Tyriana Settles leads the nation in total kills (272) and is seventh in the nation in kills per set (4.06). Rebecca Brown leads the country in total assists (692) and she is ranked third nationally in assists per set (9.89). Olivia Materni is second nationally in total digs (302) while Settles in now third nationally in total digs (276).
- With an assist from former Owens SID Nick Huenefeld, Owens Volleyball has not lost an OCCAC match since October 2014, a streak of 68 consecutive wins.