By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, Ohio---The Owens Community College women's volleyball team, behind its perfect start to the season, has vaulted to No. 2 in the nation following the release of the latest National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II poll.
This is the third poll of the season. Owens was ranked third in the previous two.
EARLY SEASON DOMINANCE
Owens is currently 12-0 overall and 2-0 in Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) play. The team has defeated current No. 9 Kirkwood, No. 12 Waubonsee and No. 20 Des Moines Area, and they haven't lost a set all season, which is a program record streak.
The team will face Cuyahoga Community College at home tomorrow beginning at 6 p.m. on BCSN before traveling to face NJCAA Division III No. 5 ranked Columbus State Community College, Hocking College and Kent State University Tuscarawas this weekend.
Next week, Owens will face conference foe Edison on Wednesday before traveling to meet No. 20 Des Moines Area, No. 7 Lincoln Land and No. 1 Parkland College in next weekend's Parkland Invitational. Parkland is the two-time defending national champion, while Lincoln Land is the two-time defending national runner-up. Owens was defeated by Lincoln Land in last year's national semifinals.
Sophomore middle blocker Devon Heitkamp (New Bremen/New Bremen, Ohio), who was named the OCCAC's player of the week for Aug. 28 - Sept. 3, leads the team in kills (98) and blocks (33). Freshman middle blocker Jordan Alt (Ottawa-Glandorf/Ottawa, Ohio) is tied with Heitkamp for the team-high in blocks while totaling 65 kills and a .376 hitting percentage.
Olivia Hermiller (Ottawa-Glandorf/Ottawa, Ohio) leads the team with a .440 hitting percentage. She has 48 kills over 100 attempts with only four errors. Two other players, freshman outside hitter Michaela Eisenhauer (Margaretta/Castalia, Ohio) and sophomore outside hitter Erika Angstmann (St. Marys/St. Marys, Ohio) are hitting .414 and .404, respectively.
Sophomore defensive specialist Niki Polce (Huron/New Boston, Mich.), who was the season's first OCCAC player of the week Aug. 21-27, has a team-high 132 digs and 18 aces. Sophomore setter Carrigan Gray (Liberty-Benton/Findlay, Ohio) has a team-high 223 assists, while freshman setter Summer Sweeting (South Central/North Fairfield, Ohio) has 180 assists.
Owens spent the final four weeks of last season at No. 2 in the NJCAA Division II poll. Thus, this year's team now ties last year's team in holding the highest ranking in program history at the Division II level.
This week's ranking also gives Owens 10 straight weeks ranked in the nation's top five dating back to Sept. 13 of last year. Furthermore, Owens has spent 21 straight weeks ranked in the top 10 - dating back to Aug. 19, 2015's poll.
For the full rankings, visit here.