WESTERVILLE, Ohio – The Case Western Reserve University volleyball team opened the 2014 season with a 1-1 performance at the Otterbein Classic played inside the Rike Center. The Spartans defeated Buffalo State University (N.Y.) in four sets before falling to Alma College (Mich.) in five.
CWRU plays twice more tomorrow against Maryville College (Tenn.) and Kenyon College at 9:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., respectively.
Versus Buffalo State, the Spartans were victorious by scores 25-23, 24-26, 25-13 and 25-21. In the opening set of the evening, CWRU hit .323. Sophomore outside hitter Isabelle Wagner (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake) and junior middle hitter Haley Kauffman (Hartville, Ohio/Lake) were tops in the attack with 13 and 11 kills, respectively. Kauffman's 11 kills came against just two errors in 25 attempts (.360). She also contributed four service aces. Three different Spartans finished with double-figure assists, including junior Robyn Marks (Waterford, Mich./Waterford Mott) with a team-best 18.
Defensively, junior libero Katie Best (Sewickley, Pa./North Allegheny) tallied 19 digs.
Against Alma, the Spartans trailed 2-0 after sets of 25-16 and 25-19 but rallied to claim the next two by scores of 25-23 and 25-22. Alma then captured the decisive fifth set, 15-9. Kauffman finished with eight kills on a .368 hitting percentage, while freshman Jessica Justice (St. Augustine, Fla./St. Augustine) set the offense with 16 assists.
Junior outside hitter Carolyn Bogart (New Berlin, Wis./New Berlin Eisenhower) led the defensive effort with a career-high 23 digs. Best contributed 19.
Following tomorrow's matches at Otterbein, the Spartans return home to co-host the 2014 Marcia French Memorial Invitational on Friday and Saturday, September 5-6 at the Veale Center.