By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Auburn Hills, MI---The No. 4 Express women's volleyball team suffered two tough, five set losses on the road today against Muskegon Community College (25-19, 19-25, 23-25, 25-22, 10-15) and Kalamazoo Valley Community College (19-25, 25-6, 25-21, 23-25, 5-15).
The Express couldn't find much consistency in their regular season opener. In the opener against Muskegon, the team came out strong to take the first set 25-19. They dropped the next two sets, though, 19-25 and 23-25 before forcing a fifth set with a 25-22 fourth set win. Following that, they dug themselves an early hole in the fifth set before falling 10-15.
In the fourth set of that match, the Express had fought back and taken a 22-20 lead, but lost the next four points.
In the first match, Tiffani Hobbs and Kenzie Kleinhenz each had a team-high nine kills, while Stephanie Kipp added eight. Ciara Wirick added a team-high 21 assists, while Jessica Cooper had 14. Wirick had a team-high four aces, while Lisa Urbanski had a team-high 30 digs. Sara Turner-Smith (15), Aricka LaVoy (14), Cooper (13) and Wirick (10) also contributed in digs. In blocks, Kayla Siefker had a team-high with two solo blocks (three overall blocks), while Kenzie Kleinhenz and Jazmine Thomas each added five total blocks. Those two each had one solo block.
In the next match, the Express came out flat and lost the first set 19-25. The second set was where they played their best volleyball of the day. They opened the set with an 11-0 run. After giving up a point, the Express rattled off 12 more to take a 23-1 lead. They would win the set 25-6. After taking the third set 25-21, the Express dropped a tough fourth set 23-25. Then, similar to the first match, the Express got off to a rough start in the fifth set, going down 5-0 to start, before losing it 5-15.
In the match against Kalamazoo Valley, Kipp produced a team-high nine kills, while Bailey Dangler added five. Cooper led the team with 12 assists, while Wirick had 11. Urbanksi led the team, once again, with 17 digs, while Wirick added 12. Kennedy Geyman and Turner-Smith each added eight digs. Thomas had a team-high five blocks (two solo), while Dominique Yates added four blocks (one solo).
Friday marked the season opener for the Express (0-2). They will take on Schoolcraft College at 11:45 a.m. before battling Oakland Community College at 3:15 p.m.
The matches for both days are being held at Oakland Community College in Auburn Hills.
We will be posting a photo album from the weekend sometime early next week at OwensExpress.com. Stay tuned to our Facebook (Owens Express Athletics) and our Twitter page (@owensexpress) for updates on Saturday.