TIFFIN, Ohio—The No. 6 Heidelberg University volleyball team clinched at least a share of its third consecutive Ohio Athletic Conference regular season championship by sweeping Marietta College (25-18, 26-24, 25-19) tonight in an OAC match at Ban Johnson Arena in Marietta, Ohio. In addition to clinching a share of the conference regular season crown, the win secured home court advantage for the Berg throughout the OAC tournament and extended its winning streak to 17 straight matches.
With one week to play in the conference regular season, the University of Mount Union and Otterbein University sit a virtual tie for second place in the league standings with one loss each, but Heidelberg holds the advantage in any potential tie-breaking scenario, having defeated both the Purple Raiders and Cardinals earlier this season.
The Tri-Color moves to 25-2 overall and 8-0 in the OAC, while the Pioneers drop to 13-12 overall and 4-3 in the OAC.
Senior reigning OAC player of the year Jackie Reinhart (New Riegel) led the offense with a match-high 10 kills in 18 attacks and hit at a .444 clip, in addition to her four service aces. Junior right side hitter Jacki Street (Grafton/Midview) added eight kills of her own.
Junior setter Rachel Ferguson (Brighton, Mich./Brighton) and sophomore setter Alexa Frank (Tiffin/Calvert) guided the offense with 16 assists and 11 assists, respectively.
Defensively, Reinhart and senior outside hitter Venessa Haase (Miamisburg) tallied a match-high 14 digs, while freshman libero Tessa Benanzer (Fort Loramie) had 12 saves of her own.
Marietta was led on offense by Paige DeVriendt with nine kills and Laura Mauer with 30 assists. Jen Braun had a team-high 12 digs to lead the defense.
Heidelberg will turn around and face Thiel (Pa.) College and Pitt – Bradford tomorrow at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., respectively, in Marietta. The Berg defeated Thiel, 3-0, on Sept. 3 in its fourth match of the season.