No. 4-Seed Baldwin Wallace Falls to Top-Seeded Heidelberg in OAC Tourney Semifinal
TIFFIN, OHIO – Fourth-seeded Baldwin Wallace University fell to top-seeded Heidelberg University in straight sets, tonight (Friday November 4, 2011) in the second of two Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament semifinal matches in the Sieberling Gymnasium. The win advances the Student Princes into tomorrow’s OAC Championship match against third-seed the University of Mount Union and loss ends another highly successful season for Vicki Brault’s Yellow Jacket program.
Heidelberg won the match by the scores of 25-17, 25-15 and 26-24. With their win, the Student Princes improve to 31-5 overall while the Yellow Jackets end their season at 18-13 overall. This was the first time since 2005 that BW has reached the semifinals of the OAC tournament.
Offensively, the Yellow Jackets were led by junior outside hitter Amanda Sawicki (Mentor/Lake Catholic) with eight kills. In addition to Sawicki, junior All-OAC middle hitter Rachel Switalski (North Royalton/Holy Name) and freshman middle hitter Nicole Christner (Minerva) each contributed five. The offense was set up by junior setter Jessica Stitts (Eastlake/North) with 17 set assists.
Defensively, BW was led by junior defensive specialist Natalie Emmons (Ashland) with 14 defensive digs. In addition, sophomore right side hitter and defensive sepcialist Shannon Deleur (Olmsted Falls) contributed 10 digs and Stitts added nine.
The Student Princes were led by senior outside hitter Venessa Haase (Miamisburg) with 11 kills. Heidelberg had four student-athletes contribute seven kills apiece. The offense was set up by junior setter Rachel Ferguson (Brighton, Mich.) and sophomore setter Alexa Frank (Calvert) with 20 and 17 set assists, respectively. Heidelberg was led defensively by freshman defensive specialist Tessa Benanzer (Fort Loramie) with 12 digs.
Despite its loss at Heidelberg, Brault’s Yellow Jackets have come along way since the end of the 2009 season. That season, BW was 5-24 overall. With a young team last season and again this season, BW has had consecutive winning seasons with a 20-13 mark last season and 18-13 this season. The team will lose just two seniors to graduation in outside hitter Chelsea Nissen (Williston/ Genoa) and defensive specialist Mandy Mass (North Royalton).
Heading into next season, Brault returns eight of the 10 players who saw most of the action this season.
Offensively, Sawicki, Switalski, Christner, Deleur and sophomore middle hitter Colleen Bonacci (Stow/ Stow-Munroe Falls) will return as the top hitters, Stitts and freshman Katie Primeau (Pemberville/ Eastwood) return as experienced setters and sophomore OH/DS Taylor Burns (Tiffin/ Fostoria St. Wendelin) and Emmons return to lead the defense.
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