With the Lady Jackets 3-0 victory over Hanover on Saturday, November 2, DC celebrated the title of outright Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference volleyball champions for the regular season.
Defiance improved to 23-5 (9-0 HCAC) during its outstanding 2013 campaign. The team's perfect record in conference play is the first for any squad in the HCAC since Bluffton concluded the 2009 season 8-0. The Panthers dropped below the .500 mark at 14-15 (5-4 HCAC).
The Purple and Gold handled Hanover with ease in the first two sets of the contest, winning by scores of 25-15 and 25-16. The Panthers then put up their best fight in the set three, but DC still came out on top 25-23.
Senior Chelsea Ludeman (Napoleon, Ohio/Napoleon) was the main threat for the Jackets, as she racked up 15 kills on a fantastic .667 attack percentage. The outside hitter also mixed in 10 digs and four total blocks. Ludeman's numbers for the night pushed her over the 400-kill mark on the season.
Ludeman is the first Defiance volleyball player to achieve the amount since 2005 when both Danielle Rego and Julie Steineman accomplished the feat.
Junior Bree Anderson (Huntertown, Ind./Carroll) was the other DC member who fared well at the offensive end with nine kills.
The Purple and Gold were lockdown on defense once again, as it caged the Panthers to an attack percentage of .000. It was the 14th time DC held an opponent to under a .100 mark this season.
Multiple Yellow Jackets came up with solid defensive nights. Senior Christa Seidenstricker (Plain City, Ohio/Jonathan Alder) led the team with 13 digs, followed by 12 from junior Alicia Kalik (South Lyon, Mich./South Lyon), who also notched 27 assists.
Freshman Kelsey Tietje (Deshler, Ohio/Patrick Henry) added four total blocks and freshman Makayla Dennis (Bryan, Ohio/Bryan) came up with a pair of service aces.
With the Saturday sweep of the Hanover Panthers, Defiance collected its 12th-straight victory and 23rd win of the 2013 campaign. Its winning streak is the longest since before 2005 and its total victories are tied with the 2002 team for the second most in a single season in school history.
The only other squad to win more matches was the 2003 Yellow Jackets who compiled a 26-5 record.
The next step for the Purple and Gold volleyball team is the HCAC tournament on Saturday, November 9 and Sunday, November 10. DC earned the right to host the tournament after its Wednesday-night victory over the Beavers.
As the No. 1 overall seed, Defiance will face the winner of the Rose-Hulman (No. 4) and Hanover (No. 5) match this upcoming Tuesday.
Action in the HCAC volleyball tournament will be held in the Karl H. Weaner Center. The Yellow Jackets match is slated for 2 p.m. and Transylvania's contest with either Mount St. Joseph or Bluffton is scheduled for 5 p.m.