MARION, Ind. – Head coach Brenda Williams has been patiently waiting all season for her young Olivet Nazarene University volleyball team to play with some consistency and work together as a team. They finally played back-to-back matches where they showed signs of what they were capable of; they just chose to do it against two very good, nationally ranked teams.
The Tigers (4-17, 3-3) put together an impressive five set series against No. 10 Indiana Wesleyan University on Saturday, Sept. 29 but came up just short of completing the upset. Then they fell in four close sets to No. 23 Taylor University (Ind.).
Olivet took the opening set against Indiana Wesleyan 25-22 before dropping the second 14-25. The Tigers came back to win the third 25-23 and had a lead in the fourth, but the Wildcats came back to win it 28-26 and to win the deciding set 15-9.
Freshman Becky DeRuiter (Chicago Ridge, Ill.) led the Tigers with 12 kills, while sophomore Kaia Lenzi (Beach Park, Ill.) added nine. Senior Carolyn Goettsch (Utica, Mich.) and Heidi Schoenbein (Morton, Ill.) contributed seven kills apiece.
Freshman setter Renee Enz (Wilmington, Ill.) dished out 40 assists and added 10 digs. Sophomore libero Haley Hatalla (Manteno, Ill.) added another 20 digs, while freshman Carly Wenzelman (Bonfield, Ill.) contributed 13.
In the nightcap, the Tiger’s took the first set 25-21 before losing three very close sets 22-25, 26-28, 18-25 to Taylor. DeRuiter and senior Katherine Hozian (Elk Grove Village, Ill.) each recorded 13 kills, while Lenzi added seven.
On defense, Hatalla finished with 24 digs, while Enz and Hozian added 11 and 10, respectively. Enz also finished with 34 assists.
Olivet travels to Trinity Christian College on Tuesday, Oct. 2 to take on the Trolls in at 7 p.m. in Chicagoland College Athletic Conference play.