Volleyball Falls in a Pair of Matches at OAC-HCAC Crossover

The Crusaders competed against Bluffton and Mount St. Joseph on Friday in day one of the OAC-HCAC Crossover. (Jeff Mills photo).
The Crusaders competed against Bluffton and Mount St. Joseph on Friday in day one of the OAC-HCAC Crossover. (Jeff Mills photo).


BLUFFTON, Ohio – The Capital University volleyball team competed at Bluffton University on Friday in the Ohio Athletic Conference-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Crossover, falling 3-1 against Bluffton and 3-2 against Mount St. Joseph.

On day one, the Crusaders faced host Bluffton in their first match on Friday afternoon, before playing against Mount St. Joseph in the night cap.

In Capital's first match against Bluffton, the Crusaders took set one, 25-23, after building a 10-7 lead over the Beavers early on in the set.

The Crusaders then managed to increase their lead to as many as five points at 16-11, eventually securing the first set by two points.

Set two was the exact opposite in favor of Bluffton, as the Beavers jumped out to a 5-0 lead early on. Capital then rallied to tie the set at seven points apiece, but the Crusaders were not able to gain the lead, falling by two points in set two.

Capital then dropped the final two sets of the match, falling 25-21 and 25-18 to Bluffton in a 3-1 match defeat.

Leading the way for the Crusaders in their first match was sophomore Mona Ratliff (South Charleston, Ohio), who led the team with 12 kills, also tallying one solo block and three block assists.

Classmate Courtney McCracken (Newark, Ohio) followed with 10 kills of her own, while also recording nine digs. Fellow sophomore Kristin Bender (Fremont, Ohio) and senior LeAnna Cotton (Okeechobee, Fla.) each posted seven and six kills apiece, respectively.

Junior Katie Weilbacher (Grove City, Ohio) led the Crusaders with 28 assists, totaling five digs and one kill in the process, while senior Kelly Leonard (Cincinnati, Ohio) tied for a match-high with 20 digs.

A total of six Capital players tallied at least two kills in the match, registering a team hitting percentage of .162.

In their second match, the Crusaders competed against Mount St. Joseph, trading the first two sets with the Lions, falling 25-17 in set one, before rebounding with a 25-15 victory in set two.

With the match tied at one win apiece, the Lions took a 2-1 advantage in the match following a narrow 26-24 victory over the Crusaders in set three. Capital then responded with a 25-23 victory in the fourth set, forcing a fifth and final set for rights to a match victory.

Both teams battled back and forth through the early points of the fifth set, but Mount St. Joseph eventually tallied the match victory with a 15-11 win in the final set. 

Sophomore Hanna Ewart (Wichita, Kan.) led the Crusaders with a team-high 13 kills, while McCracken followed with 11 kills of her own to accompany 17 digs.

Bender also added eight kills of her own, while tallying a match-high three solo blocks and four block assists. 

Leonard again led the match with 21 digs, while also posting one service ace. Weilbacher paced the Crusaders with 29 assists, recording five kills and one service ace in the process.

With day one of the OAC-HCAC Crossover complete, Capital (7-10 overall) is scheduled for a pair of Saturday matchups against Hanover (Ind.) at 9:30 a.m. and Transylvania (Ky.) at 1:30 p.m.