Women's Volleyball: Mount Union Opens OAC Play with a Loss Against Otterbein

Madelin DiBease (left) and Carly Stepic (right) (Photo by Ed Hall, Jr.)
Madelin DiBease (left) and Carly Stepic (right) (Photo by Ed Hall, Jr.)

ALLIANCE, Ohio -- The Mount Union women's volleyball team (17-2, 0-1 OAC) opened Ohio Athletic Conference competition with a 3-0 loss against Otterbein (13-4, 1-0 OAC).

The Cardinals won in straight sets for the fourth time in five games as they were led by Hadley Sterett's 17 kills.

The Purple Raiders were led by sophomore outside hitter Madelin DiBease (Perry/Perry) who tallied nine kills. Majority of DiBease's kills came off of junior setter Carly Stepic's (Cleveland/Holy Name) 22 assists.

Stepic was also present at the net with two blocks, alongside senior middle blocker Kyleigh Jackson (Galloway/Westland) who also had a pair of blocks.

Defending Mount Union territory was senior libero Allison Baird (North Royalton/North Royalton) with 20 of the team's 41 digs.  

Keeping the start of the match tight, the Mount Union and Otterbein went point for point until they were tied at 6-6. Otterbein then sparked a 19-5 run to capture the win at 25-11.

History would repeat itself in the second set. After the 5-5 mark, Mount Union would not be able to get out in front of Otterbein. At 24-18, Otterbein held its largest lead of the set before Mount Union would score back-to-back points on a crucial combination of a kill from Kirsten Powell (Strongsville/Strongsville) and an Otterbein error, however Julia Vermilion's kill would seal the deal at 25-20.

Mount Union began the third set strong, scoring four consecutive points to be up 6-3 and then again a few rotations later to lead 13-8. Otterbein's offense came charging back to go ahead 17-15 before Mount Union tied the game at 17-17. From that moment on, the two would rally back and forth until a pair of kills from Sterett and a Mount Union attack error would conclude the final set 26-24, in favor of the Cardinals.

Next, Mount Union will travel to University Heights, Ohio to face John Carroll on Tuesday, October 2 at 7:00 p.m.