By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Rockford, IL---The No. 16 Express women's volleyball team won four of six matches in the Kishwaukee Invitational this weekend. In doing so, they defeated two top five NJCAA D-III teams - including top ranked Ridgewater College.
Owens CC vs Harper College - Oct. 18
The Express opened action on Thursday with a 25-17, 25-16, 25-18 win over NJCAA D-III No. 5 Harper College. Alyssa Meis (12), Dakia Sellers (11) and Jazmine Thomas each had double-digit totals in kills. Molly Hilfinger led the team with 38 assists, while Lisa Urbanski (23) had the team-high in digs. Hilfinger and Meis each added 10 digs. Tiffani Hobbs and Kenzie Kleinhenz each had five assisted blocks to lead the team.
Overall, the Express had 47 kills, 46 assists, 58 digs, three solo blocks and 16 assisted blocks.
Owens CC vs Kirkwood CC - Oct. 18
Owens then lost to No. 7 Kirkwood Community College in the nightcap on Thursday in five sets - 25-21, 21-25, 11-25, 25-18, 11-15. Meis (20), Sellers (15) and Thomas (12) led the Express in kills once again. Additionally, Hilfinger had her second highest single game assist total this year as she totaled 41. Urbanski (31) led the team in digs, although Meis (21), Hilfinger (14), Brandi Schimming (12) and Bailey Windham (10) also hit double figures. Hobbs, once again, led the team with three assisted blocks.
Overall, the Express had 50 kills, 46 assists, 104 digs, two solo blocks and 10 assisted blocks.
Owens CC vs Ridgewater College - Oct. 19
On Friday, the Express opened with a 18-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-12 win over Ridgwater College, the No. 1 NJCAA D-III team in the nation. Sellers was the lone player in double figures in kills with 16, but Meis added eight and Hobbs had seven. Hilfinger had 36 assists and Urbanski had 22 digs for team-highs in each category. Meis was a close second in digs with 18. Hobbs and Sellers each led the team in assisted blocks with three apiece.
Overall, the Express had 41 kills, 41 assists, 71 digs, three solo blocks and 12 assisted blocks.
Owens CC vs Des Moines Area CC - Oct. 19
Then, against NJCAA D-II No. 10 Des Moines Area Community College, the Express fell 23-25, 22-25, 25-14, 19-25. Sellers (16), Meis (14) led in kills, Hilfinger (28) led in assists, Urbanski (23) led in digs, Thomas had a team-high two solo blocks and Thomas (3), Sellers (3), Meis (2) and Hilfinger (2) led in assisted blocks. Meis (14), Schimming (13), Windham (12) and Hilfinger (10) each totaled double figures in digs.
Overall, the Express had 40 kills, 31 assists, 87 digs, three solo blocks and 14 assisted blocks.
Owens CC vs South Suburban College - Oct. 20
After splitting a pair of matches each of the first two days, the Express swept their competition on Saturday.
In a 25-20, 25-15, 25-14 win over South Suburban College, Sellers (11), Meis (8) and Thomas (6) led the team in kills, while Hilfinger had a team-high 32 assists. Other team highs included Urbanski with 18 digs and Thomas with six assisted blocks. Hilfinger (4), Dominique Yates (3) and Kleinhenz (3) also produced in assisted blocks.
Overall, the Express had 35 kills, 33 assists, 54 digs, two solo blocks and 18 assisted blocks.
Owens CC vs Iowa Lakes CC - Oct. 20
Owens then closed out their action in the Kishwaukee Invitational with a 13-25, 25-13, 25-19, 25-16 win over Iowa Lakes Community College. Meis (18), Sellers (12) and Thomas (10) led in kills, Hilfinger totaled 41 assists for the second time in three days and Urbanski had 24 digs. Thomas, Hobbs and Kleinhenz each had three assisted blocks.
Overall, the Express had 47 kills, 42 assists, 82 digs, two solo blocks and 14 assisted blocks.
With the 4-2 record over the weekend, the Express improved to 29-9 overall. They have two matches remaining in the regular season - both conference matches. On Wednesday, the Express travel to No. 23 Sinclair Community College for a 6 p.m. match before taking on No. 17 Columbus State Community College on Friday at home beginning at 6 p.m.
Should the Express win on Wednesday, they will clinch at least a share of the OCCAC championship. Should they win both, they will claim the title outright. It would be the program's third straight OCCAC championship and 13th overall in the past 15 years.