Yeowomen Fail to Snag NCAC Title


Bryan Rubin

Sophomore middle hitter Dana Thomas and junior setter Meredith Leung leap to block a hit during their game against Earlham College on Sep. 26. The Yeowomen won the match 3–1 and concluded their season this weekend, finishing 2–6 in conference and 8–19 overall.

Jack Brewster

The volleyball team fell short this weekend in its effort to capture a North Coast Athletic Conference tournament title.

Oberlin matched up against the Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops in the first round of the playoffs. Ohio Wesleyan spent little time reminding their opponents of why they were second in the NCAC standings this year and fifth in the rankings for the Great Lakes region, winning the first set 25–19.

In the second set, Oberlin could not rebound, losing 25–20 at the hands of the Battling Bishops’ high-powered offense, which posted a .290 hit percentage in the second set. In the third set, Ohio Wesleyan finished off the contest with ease, winning 25–15.

Oberlin Head Coach Erica Rau said she thought the Yeowomen did the best they could against a difficult opponent.

“I don’t think anything went wrong in the OWU match,” Rau said. “OWU is a very good team [which] is nationally ranked, and I think we played very well as a team.”

The next day, Oberlin continued NCAC tournament play in the consolation rounds, facing both Kenyon College and Allegheny College.

In the first match of the day against the Kenyon Ladies, Oberlin saw strong performances from sophomore middle hitter Claudia Scott and senior defensive specialist Molly Powers but could not hold off the Ladies’ offensive momentum, losing sets 25–22, 25–16 and 25–22.

Scott finished the match with a team high of 10 kills, adding to her 21-kill total for the tournament, while Powers added nine digs. Junior setter Meredith Leung aided the offensive effort with 14 assists, and first-year setter Sarah Chang added eight, but the Yeowomen couldn’t quite capitalize on their strong hitters to overcome the Ladies.

Later in the day, Oberlin matched up against the Allegheny Gators. After the Yeowomen were able to split the first two sets, the Gators took over, winning the next two sets 25–14 and 25–17 to end the Yeowomen’s season and hopes of a consolation playoff.

Junior outside hitter Jill Hostetler said she didn’t think the Yeowomen played to their full potential at all points during the tournament.

“I felt as if we played very inconsistently,” Hostetler said. “At some points in the games we were completely in control, and during other points we played like a completely different team. If we consistently played our game, we would’ve had a great weekend.”

For Powers, the Allegheny match would mark her last time suiting up for the Yeowomen. In her four years at Oberlin, Powers set a school record for most digs at 1,829.

“Even though my senior season didn’t turn out the way I hoped, looking back, I’m definitely proud of my career here,” Powers said.

Along with the dig record, Powers and fellow senior defensive specialist Shavonne Stanek helped to increase the team win record from one win in 2011 to 10 by 2012.

There were other bright spots for the team following the tournament, as Leung and Hostetler earned All-NCAC Honorable-Mention honors this season.

“I’m personally really excited to earn All-NCAC Honorable Mention, as I’ve worked really hard this season — our whole team has,” Hostetler said.

Hostetler, while content with her team’s performance this year, believes that her team will only improve in the coming seasons.

“Moving into next season, I would love for our team to become more consistent,” Hostetler said. “I know we’ll come into our next season excited to play and excited to prove to ourselves and the conference that we are a serious team and a big threat.”

The Yeowomen finished eighth in the NCAC standings for the season.