By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University Volleyball had leads on its archrival, Otterbein University, in multiple sets of Friday night's Ohio Athletic Conference showdown but the defending conference champion Cardinals fought back to deliver the Crusaders a 3-0 (25-23, 25-13, 25-22) defeat to open the 2018 edition of the rivalry weekend.
Capital held an advantage over the visiting Cardinals for most of the first set, once as large as four points due to multiple unforced Otterbein errors. Three different players helped get Otterbein back into the game with kills and a Capital error broke a 21-21 tie to begin swinging the pendulum toward the visiting side of the court. Julia Vermilion, Tate Eppard and Hadley Sterett then helped put the set away with kills to hit 25 before Cap could muster a comeback.
A 7-3 run by Otterbein helped break open the second set and the momentum continued to tide the Cardinals' way in a 25-13 win. The two teams went in different directions with their hit percentages with Cap dipping down to .036 and Otterbein rising its success rate to .500 in the second set.
Even down 2-0, Cap continued to fight for each and every point. They shot out of a cannon with a 12-5 run to start the third set. Otterbein called a timeout to break up the run and after one additional point for the hosts, the Cardinals began to chip away at the deficit. Capital was up five points, 19-14, before Hadley Sterett put down three of the next four Otterbein kills. The Otterbein front line then blocked down a CU hit at the net to tie the set, 20-20, and the run continued. Two more points forced Cap into a timeout but it was not enough to stop the charging Cardinals as they ended the match on an 11-3 run to claim the day.
Freshman Delanie Nahikian (Allegan, Mich./Allegan) led the Crusaders with eight kills on the offensive end. Senior libero Koryne VanScoy (Carroll Ohio/Bloom Carroll) was all over the floor with a team-high 12 kills.
Capital (0-25, 0-9 OAC) has one final game to play on Saturday, October 27. The Crusaders will celebrate Senior Day prior to their nonconference bout with Denison University, set to begin at 1 p.m. at The Capital Center Performance Arena.