SPRINGFIELD, Ohio—The #1 team in the country returned to action on Saturday, as 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. Wittenberg was tested and pushed to new heights against Muskingum, a team coached by Wittenberg volleyball graduates Hallie Donathan and Kristina Fultz. After the pre-game handshake turned hug between Paco Labrador and Donathan, the Tigers and Muskies did battle inside Pam Evans Smith arena, as Wittenberg proved to be too much for Muskingum.
HOW IT HAPPENED: Wittenberg answered the bell in their opening NCAC league match against Oberlin, sending the Yeowomen packing at 25-18, 25-16, and 25-15. Wittenberg did not trail at any point in the noon match, as the victory pushed Wittenberg to 10-0 and Oberlin to 9-4. The Tigers moved to 2-0 on the day, and 11-0 on the year, with a 3-1 win over Muskingum. Wittenberg came out on top to the tune of 25-23, 25-19, 21-25 and 25-18. Wittenberg needed every ounce of a total team effort to slide past the Muskies, as three different Tigers recorded double-digit kills in the afternoon win.
WHO STOOD OUT: Maddie Fischer (18), Haley Horner (11), and Aubrey Cox (10) all recorded double-digit kills in the win over Muskingum, as Fischer's total for the day ballooned to 26. While Muskingum's ability to dig almost every Tiger's attack was impressive, Karen Wildemann (20) and Taylor Yontz (26) combined for 46 digs in the match, while Wildemann recorded 45 assists.
WHAT IT MEANS: Wittenberg's 11-0 start is the Tigers best in the past decade, as Wittenberg now focuses in on NCAC play. The Tigers move to 44-4 all-time against Oberlin, and 14-20 against Muskingum. The Tigers are home against OWU on September 29 and against John Carroll the following day, before hitting the road for most of October.
NOTABLES: Wittenberg was joined on Saturday by honorary bench coaches Adam Parker and Brian Yontz. Parker is the chair of the department of mathematics, while Yontz serves as the chair for the department of education, as well as representing Wittenberg athletes as one of the department's Faculty Athletic Reps.
QUOATABLE: "I'm happy to start-off NCAC play with a win over Oberlin. Our first ball contact was up to task against an Oberlin team averaging 2.6 aces per set. The match vs Muskingum was a battle. Hallie Donathan and Kristina Fultz have cultivated a top-level team. I think outside hitter, Brooke Fatheree, is one of the best freshman in the region. Maddie Fischer really carried out the offense today against a well-prepared Muskingum defense," said Coach Labrador