The Big Red volleyball team secured a top-four spot in the 2013 North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament following a 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-15) victory over Kenyon on Saturday in Granville. With the win, Denison also guarantees at least a share of second place in the regular season standings.
Ahead 7-4 in the opening set, the Big Red blew the set up with a solid serving performance by junior libero Emily Marguerite. Marguerite served out 10-straight points, including three of her match-high five aces. Now in front 17-4, the Big Red cruised to a 25-16 win in the opening set.
Denison matched that score in the second set to take a 2-0 lead in the match. In the third set, the two squads battled closely with DU holding a slim 16-14 lead midway through the set. However, a 9-1 run over the final 10 points secured the Big Red's ninth sweep of the season.
Reigning NCAC Player of the Week Rachele Lock paced the offense with a .600 hitting percentage after hammering down 10 kills on 15 attempts with just one error. Sophomore Annemarie Fischer hit .500 with four kills on eight attempts, while Elena Lein had six finishers on 12 tries with just one miscue. Senior Lauren Gustafson also had four kills and two block assists. The setter tandem of Jessica Borsani and Carly Newell dished out 19 and 14 assists, respectively.
In addition to her five aces, Marguerite also paced the defense with 22 digs, while seniors Sarah Blum and Elisa Kuhn had 22 and 10 digs. At the net, Lein finished with five solo blocks, while sophomore Kenzie Kuhn recorded four solo rejections and two block assists.
Kaitlyn Power led the Ladies with five kills, while Sierra DeLeon, Mary Jo Scott and Katie Goulder each had four finishers. Hannah Shank dished out 16 assists, while Scot posted nine digs.
Denison improves to 18-6 overall and 6-1 in the NCAC with the win, while the loss drops Kenyon to 1-20 and 1-6 in league play. The Big Red wraps up the conference slate on Wednesday when they travel to Springfield, Ohio for a showdown with nationally-ranked Wittenberg at 7 p.m. The winner of Wednesday's match will host the 2013 NCAC Tournament on Nov. 8-9.
NOTABLE: Prior to the game Denison honored its three senior members, Sarah Blum, Lauren Gustafson and Elisa Kuhn. This senior class has helped the Big Red post 63 wins and a trio of top-four finishes in the North Coast Athletic Conference.