By: Jake Haubner ‘16
The Wittenberg Tigers participated in the Midwest Volleyball Challenge for their fourth and final regular season tournament. This tournament was no different from any of the others. They took on some of Division III’s finest teams, including top ranked Calvin University and No. 2 Hope College. The Tigers came into the challenge on an 11 game win streak.
The Tigers first took on undefeated Mount Union, with a record of 21-0. The Tigers dropped the first set, but then won the next three sets 25-14, 25-19, and 25-17, respectively. The Tigers were led offensively by Kara Seidenstricker with 18 kills on a .372 attack percentage. On top of 18 kills, Kara also had four aces, 12 digs and five assists. Megan Vodopich had a good game as well with 38 assists. Defensively, Katie Zito turned in a career high 29 digs to lead the Tigers.
Later in the day, the Tigers faced top ranked Calvin at Calvin University. This game had been marked on the Tigers’ schedule since last year when Calvin knocked the Tigers out of the NCAA tournament. The highly anticipated game drew a crowd of 823 people. Unfortunately, the Tigers struggled against one of the tallest front lines in Division III and lost the match 3-0. The Tigers finished the game with a combined .063 attack percentage and only 30 kills. Andrea Behling led the Tigers with eight kills in the match.
The Tigers had no rest after Calvin. The next morning, they played second ranked Hope College at Hope. The game was a nail biter going all the way to the fifth game, which the Tigers dropped 13-15. The Tigers had 14 different players contribute in the match. Once again Seidenstricker turned in an all-around solid performance with 22 kills and 18 digs. Vodopich turned in a career high 50 assists to go along with eight kills.
The Tigers wrapped up the Midwest Volleyball Challenge with their only match not against a top ten team, against Bethany. The Tigers made quick work, defeating Bethany in only an hour. The Tigers finished the match with a .422 kill percentage as a team. Seidenstricker and senior Behling both turned in 10 kills apiece to lead the attack. Kara also had an impressive eight service aces in the match. The challenge did not go exactly how the Tigers would have wanted, but they proved they can compete with the best and will be a major contender in the NCAA tournament. The Tigers still will try to finish up their season by remaining undefeated in the NCAC, where they currently 5-0. The Tigers next home game will be Saturday, October 19 against Baldwin Wallace at 7 p.m.