Owens Community College women's volleyball will open its 2002 season with a tournament Friday and Saturday, August 23-24 at Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, Michigan.
The Owens volleyball program is led by second-year Head Coach Sonny Lewis of Toledo. During his first season as the head volleyball coach at Owens, Lewis led the Express to a 38-12 record. His Assistant Coach is Marlene Metti of Perrysburg.
The Express will open its home campaign hosting the Owens Invitational Friday and Saturday, September 6-7. All home matches are played at the College's Student Health and Activities Center (SHAC) on the Toledo-area Campus, which is located on Oregon Road four miles from Downtown Toledo. Admission to home matches is free.
Last season, Lewis' squad captured its second consecutive OCCAC (Ohio Community College Athletic Conference) regular season and tournament championships, finishing with an overall 15-0 conference record (OCCAC regular season and tournament matches). Ranked as high as No. 9 nationally in the NJCAA Women's Volleyball poll, the Express came within one win of advancing to the NJCAA National Championships, finishing third at the Region XII Championships.
The Express have nine players returning from last year's team, including OCCAC First Team All-Conference and NJCAA All-Region XII Team selection Sandra Peer of Northwood (Clay High School). In 2001, the sophomore played in 131 games, set the team record with 222 blocks in a season and recorded 401 kills, ranking second among Owens All-Time Kill Leaders. Her postseason honors also included being named to the OCCAC and College of DuPage All-Tournament teams.
The other returning players who earned OCCAC honors are Dana Juhnke of Holland (Notre Dame Academy) and Stacy Schwierking of Oregon (Clay High School). Juhnke, a sophomore Co-Captain, in 2001 played in 137 games and led the team with 59 aces and 538 digs, ranking fifth among Owens All-Time Dig Leaders. She was an OCCAC First Team All-Conference selection.
Schwierking, a sophomore, was an OCCAC All-Tournament Team selection and played in 103 games, compiling 212 kills, 273 digs, 38 blocks and 38 aces. Sophomore Co-Captain, Jodi Young of Toledo (Start High School) also returns from last year's squad. Selected as the team's Most Improved Player, in 2001 she played in 134 games and led the team with 998 assists, ranking second among Owens All-Time Assist Leaders.
Other returning players to the Express roster include sophomores: Ashley Brough of Genoa (Eastwood High School), Heather Inderrieden of Delta (Delta High School), Stacy Smith of Pandora (Pandora-Gilboa High School), Kelli Klein of Holland (Springfield High School) and Nichole Borck of Ottawa Lake, Michigan (Whiteford High School).
The first-year players are: Alicia Khoury of Toledo (Bowsher High School), Angela Tolland of Toledo (Start High School), Dala Greear of Defiance (Ayersville High School), Amy Karl of Tiro (Buckeye Central High School) and Melissa Mohrbach of Lambertville, Michigan (Bedford High School).
"I am really looking forward to another great season," said Lewis. "We have a very talented and experienced group of girls returning from last year's squad which won 38 matches for this program."
Lewis added, "With the addition of these five incoming first-year student-athletes, I anticipate our volleyball program having another successful season, which will allow our team to compete for another OCCAC regular season and tournament championship."
At the conclusion of the NJCAA volleyball season, Owens Community College will once again host the Division II NJCAA National Volleyball Championship for the second consecutive year. All tournament matches will be held at the College's Student Health and Activities Center (SHAC) on the Toledo-area Campus. Prior to serving as the Division II National Championship site, Owens hosted the previous three Division III tournaments.
Owens Community College is the fastest-growing community college of its size in the nation. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 36,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for entry-level college students in Northwest Ohio. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 140 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.
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