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Published 8/23/2005

Owens Community College Express Volleyball Opens Season at Kellogg Invitational, Aug. 26-27

Owens Express 2005 Volleyball team Owens Community College women's volleyball will open its 2005 season with a tournament, Friday and Saturday, August 26-27 at Kellogg Community College in Coldwater, Mich.

The Owens volleyball program is led by fifth-year head coach Sonny Lewis of Toledo. During his fourth season as the head volleyball coach at Owens, Lewis led the Express to a 35-13 overall record. Lewis' assistant coaches are Shelli Smith of Sylvania and Jodi Jesion of Oregon.

The Express will open its home campaign against Lorain County Community College on Wednesday, August 31. 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, the Express women's volleyball program ended with a 35-13 overall record. The program captured its fifth consecutive Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) regular season and tournament championships, finishing with an overall 15-0 conference record (OCCAC regular season and tournament matches).

During this title run, Owens has accumulated a record-setting 79 consecutive OCCAC match-winning streak.

"Our coaching staff is very excited about this year's team," Lewis said. "We have a great group of first-year and returning players who want to continue the tradition of Express volleyball excellence. 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 five players returning from last year's championship team, including NJCAA All-Region XII team selection Ceara Barr of Fremont (Fremont Ross H.S.). In 2004, the sophomore setter was second on the team with 55 aces and 140 games played, and ranks first among Owens All-Time Assist Leaders with 1,477 for a season. She also was named to the NJCAA Region XII All-Tournament Team and was an OCCAC First Team All-Conference selection.

Also returning to Lewis' squad are Kelli Fisher of Perrysburg (Perrysburg H.S.) and Alexi Carnicom of Gibsonburg (Gibsonburg H.S.).

Fisher, a sophomore rightside hitter, played in 59 games and recorded 49 kills and 53 blocks. Her postseason honors included OCCAC Academic All-Conference selection. In 2004, Carnicom played in 65 games and recorded 85 kills. The sophomore rightside hitter also totaled 46 blocks.

Other returning student-athletes include Mallory Bieringer of Temperance, Mich., outside hitter / defensive specialist (Bedford H.S.) and Anna Rauch of Wyandotte, Mich., setter (Roosevelt H.S.).

First-year players to the Express women's volleyball program are Elisha Milks of Erie, Mich., defensive specialist (Emmanuel Baptist H.S.); Amanda Hensley of Fremont, defensive specialist / outside hitter (Fremont St. Joe H.S.); Madison Cupp of Leipsic, outside hitter (Leipsic H.S.); Kristy Bailey of Adrian, Mich., outside hitter (Lenawee Christian H.S.); Sarah Gerkensmeyer of Genoa, outside hitter / middle blocker (Genoa H.S.); Lindsay Trumitch of Riverview, Mich., setter (Riverview H.S.); Lindsay Lehmann of LaSalle, Mich., middle blocker (St. Mary Catholic Central H.S.); Stephanie Czupich of Temperance, Mich., outside hitter / defensive specialist (Bedford H.S.); Allison Siefker of Ottawa, middle blocker (Kalida H.S.), and Laura Gerkensmeyer of Genoa, outside hitter (Genoa H.S.).

Owens Community College is one of the fastest-growing higher educational institutions in Ohio. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 45,000 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, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, and 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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