HUTCHINSON – Falling one win shy of a conference tournament title didn’t cut the lifeline on Ottawa’s season just yet.
The Lady Braves volleyball team (29-10) will host College of the Ozarks 1 p.m. Saturday at Wilson Field House in Ottawa in the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round, announced Monday. It marks the second straight season Ottawa University will host a national tournament opening round match. OU will get the opportunity to advance deeper in the tournament after losing a close match a year ago to IU Kokomo in the opening round.
Ottawa is coming off a 25-16, 25-22, 25-20 loss to Tabor College in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Championship this past Saturday. It ended an eight match win streak for the Lady Braves.
Tabor finished with a 44-16 kill/attack error ratio to Ottawa’s 35-22 kill/attack error ratio. The Lady Blue Jays also had 14 blocks to OU’s two.
The loss also ended what was a strong conference tournament showing from the Lady Braves. They topped Oklahoma Wesleyan 25-19, 25-23, 26-28, 13-25, 15-9; Bethany College 21-25, 25-15, 25-15, 25-18 and McPherson College 24-26, 25-19, 25-23, 25-17 in pool play Thursday and Friday. That set up a semifinal match with Kansas Wesleyan early Saturday where OU won 25-21, 25-17, 19-25, 25-23, earning its third victory over the Lady Coyotes this season.
Yuleika Jimenez, sophomore outside hitter, finished with 17 kills against Kansas Wesleyan. Kenna Hall, junior middle blocker, had 14 kills and four blocks. Taylor Fortner, junior outside hitter, had 11 kills and nine digs, and Adriana Skipper, senior setter, finished with a double-double, notching 57 assists and 18 digs.
Jimenez also led the team in kills against Tabor, tallying 10 as the only Lady Brave with double digit kills.