Yellow Jackets Set to Host First Round of HCAC Tourney
Hanover (18-14, 5-4 HCAC)
Defiance (18-12, 6-3 HCAC)
10/30/2012 | Defiance, OH | Attendance: 325
DEFIANCE, Ohio – The Defiance College volleyball team is gearing up to host its first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament match in school history on Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. against Hanover College. The winner of the match will play at Mount St. Joseph on Saturday in the semifinal round.
The Yellow Jackets enter the contest with a 6-3 conference record, which is the most wins in league play of any Defiance volleyball squad since the 2008 season. The Purple and Gold has the third most efficient attack in the conference with a .203 hitting percentage and ranks in the top five in the Heartland in kills, assists and aces.
The Yellow Jackets boast the best defense in the HCAC this season, as the Purple and Gold have held opponents to a hitting percentage of just .130, the lowest mark in the conference. DC is also the only team in the Heartland to average over two blocks per set with an average of 2.36. The Jackets ranked second in the conference in digs with 18.1 per set.
Individually, Defiance has multiple players that play an integral role in the Jackets’ success. Setter Alicia Kalik, last season’s HCAC Freshman of the Year, has turned in a stellar 2012 campaign. Kalik leads the conference in assists, averaging 9.41 per set. The sophomore ranks second on the team in hitting percentage with a clip of .263 on 76 kills. Kalik is also second in aces and third in digs.
Alexis Pierce leads the Jacket attack with 335 kills. Pierce averages 3.28 kills per set, ranking the junior fourth in the conference. Pierce has produced a remarkable 3.98 points per set, ranking first on the team and second in the Heartland. The Wauseon product has also been a force on the defensive side, as Pierce leads the Jackets in blocks with 87.
Joining Pierce in DC’s attack force is junior Chelsea Ludeman, who is having her best season as a member of the Purple and Gold. Ludeman has been Defiance’s most efficient attacking option all season, leading the team and ranking third in the HCAC with a hitting percentage of .267. The junior also ranks sixth in the conference in kills and points.
Two other notable Yellow Jackets this season have been Lindsay McDaniel and sophomore Bree Anderson. In McDaniel’s first season as the full-time libero, the senior has flourished, anchoring the DC backline and leading the team in digs with 468 and aces with 38. McDaniel is fourth in the league in digs and ninth in aces. Anderson has bolstered the Yellow Jackets front line, as the first-year Huntertown native is third on the team in kills and blocks with 271 and 68 respectively.
Tuesday’s matchup against Hanover is a rematch of a home meeting on Sunday, October 14. The Jackets escaped with a five-set victory in the first battle. Pierce, Anderson and Ludeman each recorded double-digit kill totals in the match and freshman Rebecca Kain added seven aces to help the Jackets defeat the Panthers.
DC is 6-4 in its last 10 games and has a home record of 3-3, including 2-2 at the Karl H. Weaner Community Center. The Jackets have won four-of-five contests in weeknight matches in 2012.
The contest begins at 7:00 p.m. and tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. Anyone who shows up with a Defiance or Hanover ID gets in free of charge. Also, all children 11 and under will receive free admission.
Fans not able to make it to the game on Saturday will still be able to catch all of the action live by watching the DC webcast beginning with a pregame show at 6:45 p.m. The video broadcast is sponsored by Hubbard Company, Moats Ford and The Plaza Motel and can be seen at www.DefianceAthletics.com/video.