Ada, OH – The No. 6 Wittenberg women's volleyball team opened up their 2019 season with a trip to the Ohio Northern Invitational on Friday afternoon, taking on the Pioneers of Transylvania University. The Tigers battled in a tough four-set match to start the season, with the Pioneers taking the win 3-1 [25-17,25-22,26-24,25-14]. Sophomore Katie Hiestand planted 16 kills on 51 swings in the opener, adding 18 digs and one block assist. Sarah Hettich and Gabi Hancock each tallied eight kills, while Ashley Brooks logged 38 of the 44 Tiger assists.
The Tigers jumped out to earn early 9-4 lead to start the first set, forcing Transylvania to make adjustments through the early going. The Pioneers responded by logging a. 577 hitting percentage in the first set and forcing the Tigers to commit six errors for a .162 attacking percentage. Wittenberg bounced back to take the second set, forcing nine Transylvania errors and holding the Pioneers to a .044 attacking percentage. The Red and White took the second set by a narrow 25-22 margin, tallying a .120 attacking percentage. The third set saw an exciting back and forth battle towards the end, as Wittenberg was forced to make a comeback to keep the Pioneers from taking the third set. Transylvania holding a late 21-17 lead, the Tigers posted back-to-back points, bringing the score to 21-19 and then bringing things back to even at 24-24, before the Pioneers were able to take the final two points of the set. Transylvania took the fourth and final set by a score of 25-14, as the Pioneers were able to find some separation early, closing out the match with a .219 hitting percentage. The Tigers wrapped up the season opener with a .034 attacking percentage landing seven kills on 29 total attack attempts.
Wittenberg will return to action to close out day two of the Ohio Northern Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 31. The Red and White will be tested with two Top 25 matchups, taking on No. 13 Ill. Wesleyan at 10:30 AM, before closing out the day with a 1:00 PM matchup against host No.23 Ohio Northern.