Jackets Split Tri-Match Behind Career Day From Ludeman
DEFIANCE, Ohio – Chelsea Ludeman finished one block shy of a triple-double, as the freshman powered Defiance to a five-set victory over Bethany on Sunday afternoon. The win would be bittersweet however, after DC dropped the day’s opening match in straight sets to Hanover.
Bethany had no answer to Ludeman, who posted a .360 hitting percentage over 50 swings and ended the match with 24 kills, 17 digs, nine total blocks, three service aces and a pair of assists. The Napoleon High product set new career highs in kills, digs, blocks and aces in her third career double-double to lead the Jackets to a thrilling 23-25, 25-23, 24-26, 25-22, 15-11 victory over the Bison in a non-conference battle.
The match featured 36 ties and 14 lead changes, with neither side holding a lead larger than five points until a 12-4 spurt from DC opened up a 20-12 cushion in the fourth set.
Marlea Rolander joined Ludeman in double figures with 12 kills, while adding five blocks and a .360 percentage. Kelsey Ferguson logged 37 assists, seven digs and two aces and Christa Seidenstricker continued her strong freshman campaign with seven kills and nine blocks.
In the first match of the day, Defiance suffered a 27-25, 25-21, 25-14 loss to Hanover in what could prove to be a devastating setback for the Yellow Jackets’ bid for a spot in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament. The loss dropped DC to eighth place in the league with a 2-4 mark, likely forcing the Purple and Gold to win their final three matches to earn a spot in the league’s six-team tourney.
The Jackets rallied from a 12-7 Hanover lead in the first set to grab a 21-17 advantage on a 14-5 charge midway through the set. The Panthers clawed back however, closing on a 10-4 spurt of their own to stun DC with the 27-25 victory. Meghan Hinds was a spark for Defiance with five kills in five swings and a pair of blocks.
The second set had a similar feel, as Rolander led a DC surge with four kills, three blocks and an ace, en route to a 20-15 Yellow Jacket cushion. Hanover would storm back once again, ending the game on a 10-1 streak to steal the 25-21 win.
The Panthers carried the strong play into the third set, where they opened with a 10-2 lead and ended with 18 kills and a .350 hitting percentage in the 25-14 clincher.
Rolander led the attack for Defiance with eight kills, six blocks and a .304 percentage, while Seidenstricker netted a match-high with eight blocks.
Defiance (11-15, 2-4 HCAC) will face a virtual must win on Wednesday, when it takes on Anderson (11-9, 3-3 HCAC) at 7:00 pm.