Tigers Finish A Perfect 3-0 At Season-Opening Wittenberg National Invitational

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — The Wittenberg Tigers finished the Wittenberg National Invitational a perfect 3-0 after defeating sixth-ranked Juniata and Maryville on the second day of the competition.

Second-ranked Emory finished 3-1, losing only to Wittenberg on the first day of the tournament. Juniata wound up 2-2, Hanover checked in at 1-2 and Maryville rounded things out at 0-3.

The second day of the invitational started with the tournament's only five-set match, a 3-2 decision that went in favor of Hanover over Maryville by scores of 25-14, 25-21, 22-25, 23-25, 15-11. Hanover put three players in double figures for digs, led by Abby Merritt with 20, while Stacey Sorgius dished out a tournament-high 47 assists and Merrit tied for team honors with Ashleigh Burakiewicz with 20 digs. Maryville was paced offensively by Kristin Findley with 13 kills and Teri Lind with 30 assists, while the defense was spearheaded by Amanda Gunlikson with five blocks.

Hanover capped its tournament with a 3-0 loss to Emory. The Panthers picked up 21 assists from Sorgius and 17 digs from Kylie Justus. Emory spread the wealth on the stats sheet as well, with Natalie Schonefeld contributing 21 assists and Molly Landers with 18 digs.

The Eagles rounded things out with a convincing 3-0 win over Juniata by set scores of 25-19, 25-21, 25-21. Amelia McCall and Breanah Bourque led the offense with 12 kills apiece, with Schonefeld adding 29 assists. Landers topped the defense with 21 digs, while Alex Duhl and Alena Ransom chipped in with four blocks apiece. Juniata was paced by Catherine Scholl with nine kills and Courtney Greenberg with 35 assists. Libby Morrison was tops defensively with 27 digs.

Wittenberg freshman setter Meghan Vodopich was solid in her first collegiate action

For the host Tigers, the sailing was smooth after the first set against Juniata as Wittenberg won 3-1 by set scores of 23-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-22. Juniata picked up 43 assists from Greenberg and 22 digs from Morrison, while Kelsey Fuller was tops on offense with 11 kills.

Wittenberg wasn't as efficient offensively as it was a night earlier, but seniors Kimmie Dyer (Copley, Ohio/Copley) and Katie Sumner (Dublin, Ohio/Watterson) combined for 29 kills against just eight errors. Junior Hallie Donathan (Tipp City, Ohio/Tippecanoe) and freshman Meghan Vodopich (Canton, Ohio/Perry) split 40 assists right down the middle. On defense, Dyer was tops with 21 digs, while senior Miranda Sagle (Springfield, Ohio/Shawnee) finished with six blocks.

The Tigers capped their perfect weekend with a 3-0 win over Maryville by set scores of 25-10, 25-13, 25-19. The Scots were paced on offense by Findley with eight kills and Lind dished out 11 assists. Katherine Nadler contributed 14 digs.

Wittenberg was paced on offense by senior Christine Simpson (Dublin, Ohio/Scioto) with 11 kills and senior Hannah Riley (Minerva, Ohio/Minerva) with 10 kills. Donathan was solid with 17 assists, and junior Christina Gilene (Milford, Ohio/McNicholas) topped the defensive effort with 21 digs.

Following the competition, an all-tournament team was selected. It included:

Jennifer Wullenweber, Hanover
Abby Merritt, Hanover
Ashley Schnader, Juniata
Libby Morrison, Juniata
Breanah Bourque, Emory
Alena Ransom, Emory
Christina Gilene, Wittenberg
Katie Sumner, Wittenberg