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Owens Community College Volleyball Opens Season at Kellogg Invitational, Aug. 22-23
Owens Community College women’s volleyball will open its 2003 season with a tournament this Friday and Saturday, August 22-23 at Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, Michigan.
The Owens volleyball program is led by third-year Head Coach Sonny Lewis of Toledo. During his second season as the head volleyball coach at Owens, Lewis led the Express to a 46-11 record. Lewis’ Assistant Coaches are Shelli Smith of Sylvania and Jodi Jesion of Oregon.
The Express will open its home campaign hosting the Owens Invitational on Friday and Saturday, September 5-6. All home matches are played at the College’s Student Health and Activities Center (SHAC) on the Toledo-area Campus. Owens is located on Oregon Road, four miles from Downtown Toledo. Admission to all home matches is free.
Last season, Lewis’ squad captured its third consecutive Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) regular season and tournament championships and finished with an overall 15-0 conference record (OCCAC regular season and tournament matches). The Express was ranked as high as No. 3 nationally in the NJCAA Women’s Volleyball poll and the 46 wins tied a school record for victories in a season.
“Our coaching staff is very excited about this year’s team,” Lewis said. “We have a good nucleus of first-year and returning players who have a lot of potential. I expect the hard work and dedication put forth by our student-athletes in the preseason, to pay off in the regular season as we compete for another conference championship.”
The Express have three players returning from last year’s championship team, including OCCAC Honorable Mention All-Conference selection Dala Greear of Defiance (Ayersville High School). In 2002, the sophomore outside hitter played in 138 games and was third on the team with 392 kills. She also recorded 63 blocks, 45 aces and 320 digs.
The other two returning student-athletes are Angela Tolland of Toledo (Start High School) and Alicia Khoury of Toledo (Bowsher High School). Tolland, a sophomore middle blocker, played in 130 games and recorded 260 kills, 163 digs and 23 aces. She also was third on the team with 111 blocks. In 2002, Khoury was selected as the team’s Most Improved Player and played in an Express record 149 games. The sophomore setter led the team with 824 assists, ranking third among Owens All-Time Assist Leaders for a season. She also recorded 299 digs and 32 aces.
First-year players to the Express women’s volleyball program are Melissa Fleig of Toledo, setter (Springfield High School); Ashlee Kwiatkowski of Northwood, outside hitter (Northwood High School); Courtney Caldwell of Lambertville, Michigan, outside hitter (Bedford High School); Ashley Hill of Bellevue, libero (Bellevue Senior High School); Erin Barr of Vickery, outside hitter (Fremont Ross High School); Risa Smith of Lambertville, Michigan, setter/libero (Start High School); Ashley Howell of Gibsonburg, middle blocker (Gibsonburg High School); Danielle Rego of Toledo, middle blocker (Bowsher High School); Brianne Sawyer of Millbury, middle blocker (Lake High School); Jenai Slaughter of Oregon, right side hitter (Clay High School), and Amy Czupich of Temperance, Michigan, outside hitter (Bedford High School).
At the conclusion of the NJCAA volleyball season, Owens Community College will host the Division II NJCAA National Volleyball Championship for the third 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 three Division III tournaments.
Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Northwest Ohio with 25 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 38,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 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.