Bexley, Ohio- The fourth-ranked Wittenberg University women's volleyball team powered through day two of the Capital/Otterbein Classic/Columbus Battle by adding two more wins on the second day of the new season. In the morning, the Tigers swept Washington and Lee, 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-14), before improving to 3-0 on the year in the early afternoon by sweeping Washington and Jefferson, 3-0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-15). It was the first time since 2015 that the Tigers have met Washington and Lee on the court and also the sole, recent, meeting with Washington and Jefferson.
In the first half of the day, the Tigers dominated offensively with 49 kills, compared to Washington and Lee's 18. The trio of junior middle blocker Aubrey Cox, sophomore right-side hitter Haley Horner and freshman middle hitter Katie Hiestand combined 28 of the Tigers' 49 kills against the Generals, highlighted by Cox finishing the match with eight kills and just one hitting error in 13 total attempts for a .538 hitting percentage. Senior setter Karen Wildemann once again controlled the Wittenberg offensive unit with 34 assists, while junior libero Taylor Yontz chipped in with 13 digs on the defensive side of the net.
The Tigers dominated from start to finish in the 3-0 win against the Presidents, holding a 41-23 edge in the kill column and a dominating 11-1 advantage in service aces. The senior duo of defensive specialist Madison Manger and outside hitter Taylor Brown each had three service aces apiece against W&J, while classmate Kennedey Schmidt overpowered the Presidents on the front line with 13 kills against just one hitting error for a .632 hitting percentage. Defensively, Brown led the way for the Tigers with 18 total digs, while Cox denied several W&J kill attempts with five block assists. In addition, Wildemann has now hit the 30-assist mark in each match this season after dishing out 30 more helpers against the Presidents.
Thoughts From the Bench
"Both Washington and Lee and Washington and Jefferson were strong defensively and exposed some weaknesses that we need to address before next weekend," said interim head coach Evelyn Caryn. "All in it was a fun opening weekend of volleyball, we were tested and really had to find a way to win in each match. I'm proud of this team and the effort they put forth this weekend."
Wittenberg will now take a week off in preparation for one of the biggest weekends of the season as the Tigers are set to square off against three top-25 opponents next weekend at Juniata College's ASICS Invitational in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. The Tigers open the three-match stretch against No. 12 Carnegie Mellon on Friday night at 7:00 p.m., before a pair of matches on Saturday against No. 17 Juniata at 12:00 p.m. and No. 23 Christopher Newport at 4:00 p.m.