MARIETTA, Ohio -- The Mount Union women's volleyball team defeated Ohio Athletic Conference opponent Marietta (11-15, 2-4 OAC) in straight sets Tuesday night from the Ban Johnson Arena.
Leading the offense for the Purple Raiders (21-3, 3-2 OAC) was the freshman duo of Maria Ellesin (Alliance/Marlington) and Kirsten Powell (Strongsville/Strongsville) with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Out of Mount Union's 42 kills, all but one were assisted with junior setter Carly Stepic (Cleveland/Holy Name) recording 35 assists on the night.
Sophomore libero Annie Leslein (Akron/Archbishop Hoban) protected the back row with a team-high of 16 digs. Additionally, junior defensive specialist Megan Donegan (Dublin/Dublin Coffman) tabbed double digit digs with 11. Donegan also had two of the team's four service aces, pushing her season total to 37.
At the net, senior middle blocker Kyleigh Jackson (Galloway/Westland) was ahead of the pack with a total of five blocks.
To start the first set, Marietta logged the first couple of points but their lead was short lived as Mount Union would tie and then continue to go point for point until the 10-10 mark. Kills from Ellesin and Powell gave the Raiders a 13-11 lead. Keeping it close, Marietta would stay within two at 15-13 until Mount Union sparked an 8-0 run. From that moment on, Marietta would tally just five more points before Mount Union would walk away with the win at 25-18.
Marietta came out in the second set with an 8-6 lead over Mount Union. Using errors to their advantage, the Raiders were able to regain the lead at 10-9 and start to string together a series of three-point runs. With their largest lead of 22-15, Mount Union slowly found themselves on the receiving end of what looked to be a Marietta comeback. Marietta came charging back to only trail by one at 24-23 until a kill by Powell would seal the set at 25-23.
Third and final set, the two teams went on a stretch of long-winded rallies to stay knotted up at 3-3. Looking to close out the match, Mount Union went on a 11-3 scoring surge to go ahead 14-6. Marietta would not go quietly, responding with five unanswered points to chip away at Mount Union's advantage and force a timeout. Only up by two, Mount Union would be challenged by Marietta to go score for score until Marietta was once again just a point away at 23-22. An unfortuante ball handling error by Marietta, followed by an Ellsein kill would finish the match with a final score of 25-22, marking their 17th win of the season in straight sets.
With just one road match remaining in the regular season, Mount Union travels to Heidelberg on Saturday, October 20 for a 1:00 p.m. start.