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2014-09-01 Tiger face stiff competition in California
Kaia Lenzi

Tigers face stiff competition in California

Author: Wendy Reid
Posted: Monday, September 01, 2014 at 10:12 AM

IRVINE, Calif. – Week two of the Olivet Nazarene University volleyball schedule didn’t get any easier than week one. In reality, it actually got harder. The Tigers traveled across the country to the Asics/Wyndham Labor Day Classic hosted by Concordia University- Irvine, facing two of the top ten teams in the NAIA Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

Olivet (1-7) came out of the gate a little sluggish in the opening match with Carroll College (Mont.), falling 15-25, 11-25, 25-21, 22-25. The Tigers finished the match with just 35 kills in 115 attempts, led by junior Becky DeRuiter (Chicago Heights, Ill.) with eight. Junior Melissa Bartholowew (Newton, Iowa) added four service aces.

The Tigers nightcap put them up against the host, No. 2 Concordia Irvine. Despite strong serving by Bartholomew again, Olivet fell quickly 13-25, 10-25, 24-26 to the Eagles.

“Concordia was big and very fast,” said head coach Brenda Williams. “They are a legit team with all the pieces.”

Struggling to put solid sets together, the Tigers lost 1-3 to Menlo University (Calif.) to open day two of competition.  Despite solid defense by freshman Kelsey Geiman (Carleton, Mich.), junior Renee Enz (Wilmington, Ill.) and senior Haley Hatalla (Manteno, Ill.), Olivet fell 26-28, 25-17, 18-25, 15-25. Offensively, the Tigers ten mustered an attack percentage of just .079 with 41 kills in 139 attempts with 30 errors. DeRuitter led with kills.

In the west coast finale, the Tigers fell in straight sets to No. 9 Biola University (Calif.), 17-25, 13-25, 19-25.  Offensively, the Tigers put together a solid game against a good team, finishing with 31 kills in 87 attempts with just 10 errors (.241). The setting duo of Enz and sophomore Katie Tabisz (Lockport, Ill.) combined for 27 assists, 15 and 12, respectively.

Overall on the weekend, the Tigers were led by senior Kaia Lenzi (Beach Park, Ill.). Lenzi ended the four match tournament with an attack percentage of .264 with 20 kills in 53 attempts with just six errors. She also added 10 blocks. Enz finished with 51 assists, while adding nine service aces. Tabisz added 41 assists and nine kills.

Next, Olivet travels to Georgetown College (Ky.) for the Rumpke Invitational on Sept. 5-6. On Friday, the Tigers will face Asbury University (Ky.) at 2:30 p.m. and the host, No. 10 Georgetown at 6:45 p.m. Saturday the team will square off with Marian University (Ind.) at 11:45 a.m. and Saint Catherine College (Ky.) at 2:00 p.m.