By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Hickory, N.C.---The No. 2 Owens Community College women's volleyball team went 2-1 in the Catawba Valley Invitational today, which included a big five-set win over No. 4 Catawba Valley Community College on their home court.
Before sweeping Northern Virginia Community College in today's finale, Owens fell to National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Wallace State - Hanceville, which improved to 28-1 overall with the win.
Following today, Owens is 25-4 overall. They will have another tough day tomorrow with a 10:30 a.m. matchup against NJCAA Division I Monroe College and a 12 p.m. matchup against Spartanburg Methodist College.
Match 1: No. 2 Owens d. No. 4 Catawba Valley 25-22, 25-27, 25-16, 19-25, 15-8
Ashley Pleiman (Fort Loramie/Fort Loramie, Ohio) and Christine Tylutki (Monroe/Monroe, Mich.) combined for 29 kills to lead Owens to a victory in today's first match.
Pleiman recorded a career-high 16 kills and hit .517, while Tylutki had 13 kills and hit .440.
Catawba Valley took a 5-2 lead in the first set before Owens rallied to a take a 10-7 lead. An attack error by Owens tied it at 13 apiece a short time later, and a Catawba Valley right side kill knotted the set at 19 apiece. At that point, Pleiman took a pass from Tylutki to help Owens take a 21-19 lead.
Moments later, back-to-back kills, one from each side, by Tylutki gave Owens a 23-20 lead. Erika Angstmann (St. Mary's Memorial/St. Mary's, Ohio) followed with a left side kill to give Owens four set points. Catawba Valley responded with two points, but a service error ended the set.
An ace from Angstmann gave Owens a 7-2 lead in the second set, but Catawba Valley responded out of a timeout and gradually trimmed its deficit. They forced the set's first tie at 13 apiece, which was followed by two more ties until both teams were knotted at 19.
Tylutki answered with an ace, followed by a Catawba Valley net violation as Owens took a 21-19 lead. Then, following a block from Devon Heitkamp (New Bremen/New Bremen, Ohio) and Tylutki, Owens had set point. Tyanna Smith's (Bowling Green/Bowling Green, Ohio) attack went long, though, and then Catawba Valley fought off another set point before ending the set with three straight kills.
The second set loss ended a 22 consecutive sets won streak for Owens.
Catawba Valley led 1-0 and 2-1 in the third set, but Owens took the lead on a Smith kill down the middle and never trailed again in the set. With her team up 12-10, Tylutki's kill spurred a 4-0 rally, and the lead eventually became eight on two occasions before a Tylutki kill closed the set at a nine point margin.
In the fourth, Catawba Valley remained in control most of the set. The only lead Owens had was on the first point following a right side kill from Tylutki. After that, Catawba Valley scored eight of the next 11 points to force an Owens timeout. The lead stretched to as many as six on four occasions before a stuff block ended it and forced a fifth set.
Angstmann opened the fifth set with a left side kill, followed by an overpass kill and a left side kill from Smith as Owens took a 3-0 lead. A little later, Annie Lindeman (Ottoville/Ottoville, Ohio) had an overpass kill on the left side to make it 6-3.
Lindeman's kill spurred a 5-0 run that put Owens up 11-3. From there, the closest Catawba Valley got was five.
Aside from Pleiman and Tylutki, Owens got eight kills from Smith, along with six apiece from Lindeman and Angstmann. Defensively, Owens got a team-high 29 assists from Tylutki, while Carrigan Gray (Liberty-Benton/Findlay, Ohio) had 18.
Defensively, Owens got a season-high 32 digs from Brooke Gyori (Clay/Oregon, Ohio), while Tylutki added 12 and Angstmann had 10. Niki Polce (Huron/New Boston, Mich.) chipped in nine.
Heitkamp (one solo and six assisted) led the team in blocks, while Pleiman (six assisted) and Smith (two solo and four assisted) each chipped in six. Overall, Owens had six solo and 22 assisted blocks.
Match 2: Wallace State - Hanceville d. No. 2 Owens 25-16, 25-22, 25-20
Following a big win over Catawba Valley, Owens struggled against a very good Wallace State - Hanceville team in today's second match. The winners pushed their winning streak to 19 straight, while Owens had its eight match winning streak snapped with the loss.
In the first set, Wallace State - Hanceville scored three of the first four points and never trailed, although Owens rallied to tie it at six apiece. Four of the next five points went to Wallace State - Hanceville, which forced an Owens timeout, but Wallace State - Hanceville continued its surge and led by as many as nine, which was also the set's final margin.
Smith and Angstmann picked up a block, followed by a Tylutki ace as Owens scored three of the first four points in the second set. Wallace State - Hanceville answered by scoring the next four points, but Owens responded and tied it up three times until each team was knotted at 11.
The set was tied once more, at 16 apiece, before Wallace State - Hanceville scored the next five points and eventually won the set by three.
Similar to the second set, Owens started the third set with three of the first four points. Wallace State - Hanceville scored the next three points and eventually took a 7-4 lead. From there, Owens stayed within five or fewer, and pulled within 23-20, but Wallace State - Hanceville picked up a pair of kills to close the match.
Against Wallace State - Hanceville, Owens got a team-high nine kills from Angstmann. Smith chipped in seven. Tylutki had a team-high 19 assists, while Gyori had team-highs in aces (2) and digs (16). Owens only had three solo and four assisted blocks.
Match 3: No. 2 Owens d. Northern Virginia 25-21, 25-9, 25-13
Following a slow start, Owens swept Northern Virginia to close the day's action.
Northern Virginia led early in the opening set and didn't relinquish it until back-to-back blocks, followed by an ace from Polce, put Owens up 12-10. Northern Virginia tied it twice more following that and actually took a 17-16 lead following a net violation.
Owens, however, scored the next five points to force a Northern Virginia timeout. The run was highlighted by a kill from Lindeman, an ace from Smith and a Heitkamp-Lindeman block. Following that, the Owens lead was trimmed to just two twice, but Angstmann closed the set with a kill from the left side.
Owens picked it up in the second set and scored 11 of the first 15 points, which included a back row kill and an ace from Angstmann. Another ace from Gray, along with a Heitkamp kill, gave Owens an 18-6 lead. Smith later closed the set with a kill down the middle.
Owens stayed in control to open the third set by scoring the first four points. That rally was capped by a pair of aces from Gyori. The lead became five moments later following an overpass kill from Smith. An ace from Gray made it 13-4. Later, an Angstmann-Smith block pushed the lead to 10. A Northern Virginia service error ended the match.
Heitkamp had a team-high eight kills, while Smith added five and Tylutki had four. Heitkamp hit .636, which was trumped only by Olivia Hermiller's (Ottawa-Glandorf/Ottawa, Ohio), who hit .750 with three kills.
Tylutki had a team-high 14 assists, while Gray and Gyori each had a team-high two aces. Gyori (15) and Angstmann (10) led the team in digs, while Smith had six blocks. Tylutki and Heitkamp each added four.
Next up for Owens is Monroe College (12-9), who lost a pair of matches today to Wallace State - Hanceville and Catawba Valley, and Spartanburg Methodist, who enters tomorrow at 11-4 overall and winners of six of their past seven.
Tomorrow's matches should also be livestreamed on our YouTube page. Visit our schedule/results page for video links to the corresponding matches. You can also find live updates on our Twitter page (@owensexpress) throughout the day.