OU volleyball favorites in KCAC

The Herald Staff

For the fifth straight season, the Ottawa University women's volleyball team has been selected by the KCAC coaches to finish first in the conference.

OU received 138 points and 10 first-place votes by the conference coaches. Ottawa enters 2020 coming off an overall record of 24-17 and a third place finish in the KCAC with a record of 9-3. The Braves won their NAIA Opening Round game against Brescia and qualified for the NAIA Final Site.

OU volleyball players Tharps and Ryleigh Burdick were named to the 2020 KCAC volleyball preseason team.

Tharps, an outside hitter, was named NAIA Second Team All-American, AVCA First Team All-West Central Region Team, KCAC Player of the Year, First Team All-KCAC, and earned KCAC Attacker of the Week honors three times last season. She played in 40 matches, finishing the season with 530 kills, a .236 attacking percentage, three assists, seven service aces, 117 blocks (20 BS/97 BA), and 143 digs. Tharps was ranked ninth in the NAIA in total kills (530). She had a season high 24 kills against Friends University, a career high 10 digs versus Missouri Valley, and a career high 10 blocks against Embry-Riddle University.

Burdick, an outside hitter, earned First Team All-KCAC honors in her first season. She finished the year with 316 kills, a .196 attacking percentage, three service aces, 28 blocks (4 BS/24 BA), and 124 digs. Burdick had a career high 22 kills against Embry-Riddle University and a career high five blocks versus Texas Wesleyan University.

Ottawa opens the season Saturday at the Hampton Inn Classic hosted by Central Methodist University. Ottawa plays CMU and Evangel University in the tournament.