By Chris Schmidbauer, Sports Information Director
Toledo, OH -- The Owens Express Volleyball program played five matches during the week with five more matches on the schedule for the upcoming week. Owens played on the road at Edison on Wednesday, before playing at the prestigious Parkland Invitational this weekend.
Match #1: Owens 3 Edison 0
The Express began play on the road on Wednesday evening in Piqua, OH to take on the Edison Chargers. Owens would win the match in straight sets. They won the first set 25-17, before winning the final two sets 25-15 and 25-12. Owens won their 69th consecutive conference match.
The three headed monster at the net of Tyriana Settles, Semira Neely, and Kayla Bekier controlled the Owens attack. Settles and Neely tied for the team lead in kills with ten each, while Bekier had nine total kills for the match. Settles would also finish with double digits in digs with 14. Raelyn Hutchinson would lead the back row with 17 total digs for the match, while sophomore McKinsey Finnen would also finish with 13 digs. Bekier would also finish with 11 digs for the match. Rebecca Brown would tally 34 assists, which would account for all of the team's assists during the match. Arielle Snider led the in solo blocks with three total for the match.
Match #2: Owens 3 Lincoln Land 0
The Express's first match of the Parkland Invitational came against Lincoln Land, who had been ranked in Division II National Poll this season. Owens would play a competitive match against the Loggers, but the Express would come out on top in straight sets. Owens would win 25-20, 25-16, and 25-21.
Tyriana Settles had another terrific match. She led the team in kills with 14 while also netting ten total digs during the match. Kayla Bekier would tally ten kills during the match. For the second straight match, Raelyn Hutchison was a stalwart on the back line, grabbing 18 total digs to lead the Express. Rebecca Brown would garner 32 of the teams 34 total assists.
Match #3: Owens 3 McHenry 1
The Express would cap their day with a match against the McHenry Scots, a Division II team. The Express would jump out to a 2-0 lead. Owens won the first set 25-22 and the second set 25-19. The Scots would fight back though, winning the third set 25-20. Owens would rebound to take the fourth set 25-19 and the match.
Tyriana Settles would cap off the night with 16 total kills and a team high 20 digs to lead the Express in the win. Kayla Bekier would add 13 more kills to her total for the day, while Shyah Wheeler (eight kills) and Arielle Snider (seven kills) each contributed on the attack. McKinsey Finnen (13) and Raelyn Hutchison (11) both finished in double digits in digs. Rebecca Brown had a whopping 42 assists in the match against the Scots, which accounted for all but three of the team's 45 total assists.
Match #4: Parkland 3 Owens 0
The Express would start Sunday off with a match against the No. 1 ranked team in Division II and the host team, the Parkland Cobras. The Cobras showed why they are the No. 1 ranked team in Division II, as they dispatched of the Express in straight sets. Parkland won 25-14, 25-9. and 25-13. The loss to the Cobras snapped a 16 match winning streak for the Express.
Match #5: Illinois-Central 3 Owens 0
In their final match of the weekend tournament, Owens would take on the No. 9 ranked Illinois-Central Cougars. Whilet the Express were more competitive in the match than they were against the Cobras, Owens would still drop the match in straight sets. Owens lost 25-20, 25-12, and 25-21. The loss represented the first time Owens has lost consecutive matches this season.
Owens finished the week 23-3 overall on the season, and they are currently in first place in the OCCAC with a record of 9-0.
It will be another busy week for the Express. They host a home match on Wednesday evening against conference foe, Lakeland. Owens beat the Lakers earlier in the season 3-0. The match is scheduled for 6 PM in the SHAC.
The Express will then head off to Hickory, North Carolina to take another highly competitive tournament, the Catawba Valley Invitational. Owens will take on two Division I opponent, one of whom is ranked in Wallace State. They will also take on two more Division II teams, one of whom is ranked nationally in Catawba Valley. The matches will be played on Friday and Saturday. The Express's first match of the day against Northern Virginia is scheduled for 10 AM.
- The chase for win No. 700 is on for head coach Sonny Lewis. The 19th year head man of the Owens Volleyball program is currently at 691 total wins in his career with the Express. Coach Lewis could get the mark as soon at the match on October 16.