Lady Trailblazers Finish 2nd in Mid-East Region
Ohio Christian entered the 2010 Mid-East Regional Tournament as the 4th seed, ranked 24th in the nation, and finished as the regional runner-up.
On Friday, OCU faced the 5th seeded Appalachian Bible College and earned the win with scores of 25-11, 21-25, 25-8, 25-11.
Sophomore and co-captain Linette Shetler led the team with 9 kills and 7 aces. Freshman Rachel Briggs stepped in as libero and headed up the defensive effort with 11 digs.
"We did what we needed to do," stated Coach Brothers. "We played a little unfocused in the 2nd set and ABC was able to take advantage. I was happy with how the team responded in the 3rd and 4th set. They really focused on executing the game plan."
Following the ABC match, the Lady Trailblazers were matched up against the #1 seed in the Mid-East region Kentucky Christian. KCU won in three sets 8-25, 11-25, 20-25.
"We came out flat and made several unforced errors," said Coach Brothers. "Our serve receive was on, but our hitters were not able to put the ball down."
With the split in pool play, this put OCU into the semi-final match against #2 seeded Johnson Bible College Saturday, October 30th. This was a repeat of the match up in the 2009 Mid-East Regional Tournament Semi-Finals.
Ohio Christian upset Johnson in the 2010 semi-final with scores 25-20, 25-21, 23-25, 25-21.
Johnson Bible came into the match ranked 18th in the nation and 2nd in the Mid-East Region. OCU had fallen to Johnson both times they had faced each other during the regular season.
Freshman Ashley Southard led the team with 11 kills and 7 blocks with Sophomores Shetler and Hillary Stump each tallying 9 kills. Shetler also earned 9 aces. Briggs had a season high 20 digs.
"Everyone came ready to play," stated Head Coach Wes Brothers. "Every coach sees a level of potential in the individual and then as they get to know the individual better, the potential of the team comes into focus. The Johnson match was a good example of a team playing very hard and achieving a potential that it could only reach with everyone playing united at a higher level."
This win set up the 2010 Mid-East Championship match between the Trailblazers of OCU and the Knights of KCU. KCU came into the match ranked #1 in the NCCAA Division II.
KCU won the championship match in 3 sets with scores of 18-25, 17-25, 20-25.
Junior and co-captain Kristen Uetrecht and Southard tallied 6 kills each. Southard led the team with 6 blocks and Briggs added 10 digs.
"The team gave it everything and even though we played back to back matches the team did not look tired," stated Coach Wes Brothers. "We had leads during the match, but KCU kept clawing back behind their two All-American hitters. We established more of a block in this match and that kept us close in every set. Kristen stepped up on the offensive side to provide some much needed finishing power that was lacking in our previous meetings. We have a young team and getting to the Championship gave them invaluable experience. I am proud of the team and wished that everyone could have seen just how hard they played. To God be the Glory!"
Honors & Awards
Freshman Ashley Southard and Junior Kristen Uetrecht were placed on the 2010 NCCAA Mid-East Region 1st Team. Sophomore Linette Shetler was honored by being named as a part of the 2010 NCCAA Mid-East Honorable Mention Team.