ALLIANCE, Ohio -- The Mount Union women's volleyball team fell to No. 22 Ohio Northern (19-7, 8-1 OAC) in five sets Saturday afternoon on Senior Day.
The Purple Raiders (22-5, 5-4 OAC) were led by sophomore outsider hitter Madelin DiBease (Perry/Perry) as she posted her sixth double-double of the season with 20 kills and 20 digs. Senior middle blocker Kyleigh Jackson (Galloway/Westland), junior middle hitter Marlee Peck (Homeworth/Marlington) and freshman outside hitter Kirsten Powell (Strongsville/Strongsville) all recorded double-digit kills as well with 13, 12 and 12, respectively.
Setting a career-high was junior setter Carly Stepic (Cleveland/Holy Name) as she dished out 60 assists.
Defensively, senior libero Allison Baird (North Royalton/North Royalton) tabbed a season-best of 33 digs to lead the team. DiBease chipped in 20 of her own and Stepic also made it into double figures with 14. Peck was a force at the net, reaching a career-high of nine blocks.
Ohio Northern was led by McKenna Jordan's 20 kills.
Mount Union opened the first set with a 10-5 lead after being knotted up at 5-5. The Raiders were able to hold their lead until back-to-back runs by the Polar Bears would make it tied once again, 19-19. Ohio Northern took their first lead since the opening serve at 20-19 but a combination of ONU errors and kills by DiBease would give Mount Union the first win at 25-23.
The second set would not favor the Raiders as they trailed by as much as nine points. ONU's largest lead at 20-11 was cut to 23-20 as a results of a number of blocks by Peck. However, the Mount Union was unable to hold on as ONU took the second set 25-21.
A service error by ONU would get the third set going for Mount Union before gaining their largest lead of four at 12-8. Five straight Mount Union errors put ONU ahead 13-12. Going point for point, ONU made the push to pull ahead at 21-18. Another strong block by Peck and Jackson looked to turn the score around, but the Polar Bears would win again by the same score of 25-21.
Fourth set, Mount Union would trail by four in the opening rallies. Up 15-11, ONU committed consecutive attack errors to allow Mount Union to catch up and tie the score at 15 a piece and go all the way to 25-25. Two quick kills by Peck would settle the score at 27-25, pushing the match to a fifth set.
Mount Union opened with a kill and a block from freshman right side Maria Ellesin (Alliance/Marlington) but a 9-1 run by ONU would put the Raiders on pause and now fall behind 9-3. Chipping away, Mount Union would get back within three at 10-7 and then again at 12-9. A pair of perfectly placed kills put ONU up 14-9, looking for the match point. Another block-kill combo, this time by DiBease, would allow the Raiders to close in on the score at 14-12 before the Polar Bears would steal the match by a final score of 15-12.
The Purple Raiders finish the regular season with an overall record of 22-5 and a conference record of 5-4. Moving on to the OAC Tournament, Mount Union is the No. 6 seed and will travel to No. 3 Muskingum on Tuesday, October 30 at 7:00 p.m.