By Tim Glon
ADA — The No. 12-ranked Ohio Northern volleyball team started slow but got rolling late in a 23-25, 25-18, 25-9, 25-8 victory over Baldwin Wallace in the semifinals of the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament on Tuesday night at the ONU Sports Center.
The top-seeded Polar Bears (24-5 overall) advance to the finals on Saturday at 2 pm, where they will host third-seeded Otterbein at the ONU Sports Center.
The fifth-seeded Yellow Jackets (23-6) will now wait until the NCAA III Tournament selection show on Monday at 12:30 pm to find out their season will continue.
Senior McKenna Jordan (Toledo/Saint Ursula) had a match-high 16 kills, senior All-American Chelsea Huppert (Bremen, Ind.) had 15 kills and four blocks and senior Sydney Bapst (Grove City) had 12 kills for ONU.
BW was led by Mary Zurbrugg with 13 kills.
ONU dominated sets 3 and 4, hitting .375 and .379 while BW hit -.048 and -.079.
Northern went on an 11-2 run to grab a 15-7 lead, then scored the 10 of the last 11 points to win the set.
That momentum carried over into set four as Northern held leads of 5-0, 9-2, 14-4 and 18-5.
Baldwin Wallace led 7-3 in the opening set before ONU rallied for a 13-10 advantage.
A kill by Jordan evened the set at 23-all, but BW would score the final two points to win the opener.
Northern rattled off seven consecutive points to grab a 19-9 lead in Set 2. BW got within 20-15, but two kills by Jordan and a kill from sophomore Madi Ellis (Delphos/Saint John's) to win the set.
ONU hit .273 for the match with 59 kills and only 12 errors on 172 attempts, while BW hit .075 with 44 kills and 30 errors in 187 attacks.
Defensively, senior McKenna Hostetler (Plain City/Alder) had 26 digs.
This marks the 27th time in the 36-year history of the OAC Tournament that the Polar Bears have reached the finals. ONU is 20-7 all-time in the finals, including a 3-1 victory over Muskingum last year.