A strength of the Ottawa University volleyball team is its defensive net play.


Ottawa finished with 11 blocks and 81 digs in its 3-1 (23-25, 25-13, 25-18, 25-23) victory over MidAmerica Nazarene Thursday in Wilson Field House.


The first and fourth sets were nip and tuck. Two blocks for kills gave Ottawa its final two points in the fourth set. The Ottawa defense thwarted the MidAmerica offense forcing 30 hitting errors. The Pioneers hit .067.


Ottawa (2-1) finished the match with 50 kills, a .169 attacking percentage, 45 assists, four service aces, 81 digs, and 11 team blocks.


The Lady Braves had three players with double digit kills. Ayona Tharps led Ottawa with 15. Ryleigh Burdick finished with 12 and Raven Casas had 10.


Zari Montgomery finished a double-double. She had 24 assists and 12 digs. Haylee Hooper tallied 17 assists.


Emily Jackson had 20 digs and Ava Taton finished with 13 digs.


Caitlyn Cox had seven blocks, Tharps finished with five, and Breana Vail had four.


MidAmerica Nazarene rallied to win the opening set by scoring the final four points.


Ottawa dominated the second set and slowly pulled away in the third. Ottawa used a burst to snare a 22-18 lead, only to see the visitors rally by winning five of the next six points to tie the set at 23-23.


The two blocks sewed up the set and match.