Nearly a month of play is in the books for the 2017 season, and D3 Women’s Volleyball has just three unbeaten teams; Top-ranked Wittenburg, #3 Colorado College, and #13 Carnegie Mellon.
We take a look at each team, how they’ve done it, and what they have up next.
Wittenburg – (11-0)
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio—Wittenberg women’s volleyball was ranked #1 in this week’s AVCA Top-25 Coaches Poll. The week three poll saw the Tigers climb from a pre-season ranking of #11, to #3, to #1 after another unblemished weekend.
Heading into the poll, Wittenberg defeated #22 Ohio Northern, and #18 Washington-St. Louis over the weekend. In all, the Tigers have taken on and defeated #3 Emory, #18 Wash-U, #19 Illinois Wesleyan, #22 Ohio Northern, as well as defeating Johns Hopkins, who is in the “others receiving votes” section of the AVCA poll.
Last weekend the Tigers hosted OAC foe Muskingum, and NCAC rival Oberlin. The Tigers made quick work of Oberlin in the first match, winning 3-0, and disposed of Muskingum 3-1 in their second match, as the Tigers now sit unblemished at 11-0.
The Tigers 11-0 start has come at the hands of lone senior Maddie Fischer, who leads the Tigers with 145 total kills, averaging 2.70 per-set. Freshman right-side Haley Horner has complimented the Tiger’s attack nicely in her first season in Springfield, as the Wheaton, Illinois native has averaged 2.35 kills per-set, while recording 27 blocks on the year.
Karen Wildemann has done a little bit of everything for Wittenberg, as the junior has averaged 9.80 assists per-set, 2.73 digs per-set and 1.40 kills per-set in 2017. Wildemann’s best match to date came against #3 Emory, when the junior recorded a triple-double in the Tiger’s five-set thriller, recording 11 kills, 41 assists, and 10 digs.
Wittenberg will put their unbeaten run on the line this weekend when they host Ohio Wesleyan on Friday, followed by John Carroll on Saturday.
SOURCE: Wittenberg Athletics Press Release
Colorado College (14-0)
The Colorado College volleyball team continues to make history during the 2017 season.
Thanks in part to the program’s first ever win over a No. 1-ranked opponent, the Tigers climbed to No. 2 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III Top-25 Poll, which is the highest ever for CC.
“It’s really nice for our players to be recognized on what they have done so far, but we understand it’s still very early in the season and there is a lot more volleyball to be played,” head coach Rick Swan said. “Right now our focus is on working hard each day in practice, finding ways to improve, getting stronger and more consistent each time we take the court.”
Colorado College was ranked No. 9 in the AVCA’s preseason poll and moved up to No. 5 in the second rankings on Sept. 12.
After defeating No. 1 Calvin College and No. 18 Hope College at the Elmhurst Invitational, the Tigers climbed to No. 3 last week, which tied the program’s highest ranking first set on Sept. 20, 2016.
Last week, CC improved to 14-0 with three Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference victories.
Aria Dudley was named Offensive Player of the Week by the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference for her dominating performance in last weekend’s three conference victories.
During the three road matches at Austin College, Dudley recorded 28 kills on 55 attempts with only a single attack error, good for a .491 hitting percentage.
CC’s tri-captain recorded 10 kills on 22 swings as the Tigers began the week with a 25-12, 25-17, 25-12 victory over the University of Dallas.
In the 25-18, 25-15, 25-18 win over host Austin, Dudley racked up 11 kills on 19 attempts with just one error, which computed to a weekend-best .526 hitting percentage.
Dudley hit .500 in Sunday’s 25-15, 25-18, 25-19 win over Centenary with seven kills on 14 swings.
She also contributed seven digs and three blocked shots.
Dudley now ranks fourth in the conference with a .328 hitting percentage.
This weekend, the Tigers face their stiffest test of the season when they square off with No. 4 Trinity University and No. 5 Southwestern University at the SCAC cross-divisional matches in Seguin, Texas. Colorado College also faces Schreiner University and host TLU this week.
SOURCE: Colorado College Press Releases
Carnegie Mellon (16-0)
The Carnegie Mellon University volleyball team, ranked 13th nationally, continued play at the Carnegie Mellon DoubleTree Invitational on Saturday, and recorded another pair of victories. The Tartans opened play with a five set win over Otterbein University winning by the scores of 25-17, 16-25, 19-25, 25-22, 15-12. The Cardinal and Gray then moved to 16-0 with a 3-0 win over Mount Union by the scores of 25-23, 25-16, 25-16.
Junior Lauren Mueller (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown STEM Academy) led the team in both matches on Saturday with 17 kills in each while hitting .429 in the win over Mount Union. Mueller recorded her sixth double-double of the season when she led the Tartans with 21 digs against Otterbein to go along with her 17 kills. Mueller was later named the University Athletic Association (UAA) Athlete of the Week, having led the team with 65 kills, 3.61 kills per game and .348 hitting percentage in the five matches during the week. Additionally, Mueller had one block solo, 10 block assists, and collected five service aces.
In the win over Otterbein, junior Sarah Jurgens (Eagan, Minn.) also tallied double-digit kills with 15. Sophomore Maia So-Holloway (Oakland, Calif./Sacred Heart Cathedral) handed out 36 assists and had nine digs. Sophomore Kayla Yew (San Francisco, Calif./Sacred Heart Cathedral) tabbed 18 digs while senior Eliza Donohue (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) continued to be strong at the net with eight total blocks.
Against Mount Union, Donohue recorded 10 kills while hitting .500 and added another six blocks. Jurgens finished the match with nine kills. Junior Amanda Thiele (Lakeland, Fla./George Jenkins) led team in assists with 23 and So-Holloway added 14.
Defensively, Yew led with 16 digs and junior Sydney Bauer (Allen, Texas) and freshman Diana Balta (Media, Pa./Penncrest) each had 11 digs against Mount Union.
The Tartans will next travel to Case Western Reserve University for the University Athletic Association Round Robin #1 where they will play the host Spartans, New York University and Washington University over the weekend of September 30 and October 1.
SOURCE: Carnegie Mellon Athletics Press Release