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Tria Mclean(3) sets the volleyball at the Ohio University vs. Miami University Volleyball Game in the Convo. in Athens, Ohio on Sept. 24, 2022.

Volleyball: Ohio heads to Dayton Flyers Classic looking to add to strong start to season

Coming off an impressive weekend against some very challenging opponents, Ohio (2-1, 0-0 Mid-American Conference) will look to extend its winning ways on the road as they return to Ohio.

This weekend, Ohio will participate in the Dayton Flyer Classic, another round-robin style tournament that mirrors the same format as last weekend’s tournament. As the name suggests, Dayton (2-1, 0-0 Atlantic 10) will host a weekend tournament for the second straight weekend. 

Ohio’s strong play last weekend was anchored by Caitlin O’Farrell, who picked up a total of 40 kills while hitting at a .333 clip, good for second on the team behind Parker Kwiatkowski. Additionally, Kwiatkowski has been one of the catalysts for Ohio, leading the team in assists with 127, more than 100 more than the next-highest total.

Her efforts earned her MAC East Division Setter of the Week. Defensively, Ohio has been anchored by another award winner from last week, Sam Steele, who won MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week. She picked up 65 digs as well as nine service aces. 

Match 1

Opponent: Butler (3-0, 0-0 Big East)

Date and time: Friday, Sept. 1 at 5 p.m.

Live stats can be found here

Butler has only reached the NCAA Tournament twice with both appearances only lasting one match. The program has not made it to the NCAA Tournament since 2010, but that is a drought that head coach Kyle Shondell is looking to end in his first year on the job.

His path to his position is interesting as he is not only making the jump from coaching NAIA volleyball to the highest level of collegiate volleyball, but he is changing from coaching men’s volleyball to women’s volleyball. Previously the head coach of Indiana Tech, Shondell led the program to national prominence. Thus far, Butler has defeated its first three opponents at the Bulldog Brawl, a tournament it hosted last weekend. 

Player to watch: Jaymeson Kinley

Kinley, a redshirt senior defensive specialist/libero, has been a marquee player for the Bulldogs for multiple seasons. She has garnered countless awards: she is the reigning two-time Big East Libero of the Year, two-time All-Big East Team, and 2022 AVCA East All-Region Team.

Additionally, she is quickly moving up the program record books as she sits seventh all-time in digs and first in digs-per-set. Kinley broke her own record last season for most digs by a single player in one season in program history. Her efforts make it incredibly difficult to score against the stout Bulldogs’ defense and she will always be on the floor to battle the Bobcats’ offense. 

Match 2

Opponent: North Dakota State (3-0, 0-0 Summit League)

Date and time: Saturday, Sept. 2 at 11 a.m.

Live stats can be found here

North Dakota State is yet another undefeated team that will travel to Dayton for this tournament. A program that is on the rise, North Dakota State turned in a 21-12 record, including a 13-5 mark in conference play, last season. Head coach Jennifer Lopez inherited the team that she led to prominence during her career.

Since being hired full-time in 2017, Lopez has gone 84-83 and made her first postseason appearance as a coach last season. Regardless, North Dakota State won all three matches last weekend by the same score: 3-1. 

Player to watch: Kelley Johnson

The reigning Summit League Setter of the Year, Johnson has become the face of this turnaround for the Bison. Her 1,342 assists in 2022 not only led the conference but ranked eighth in the country. Not only is Johnson a tremendous player on the offensive side of things, but she is also a key contributor to the Bison defensive attack. Johnson was second on the Bison with 352 digs, serving as one of the most well-rounded players featured in the tournament. 

Match 3

Opponent: Dayton (2-1, 0-0 A-10)

Date and time: Saturday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.

Watch live: ESPN+

Live stats can be found here

Dayton is hosting its second straight weekend tournament and will look to flex its muscles on its home floor again. Dayton has made 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, all of which have come in the last 20 years.

Attempting to find itself back in the NCAA Tournament, Dayton has started strong, having played a pair of top-25 teams in its opening weekend, defeating No. 24 Western Kentucky before falling to No. 12 Marquette. Head coach Tim Horsmon is entering his 14th year at the top of the food chain for the program he has led to relevancy. 

Player to watch: Lexie Almodovar

The Flyers are led by one of the best outside hitters in the A-10, Lexie Almodovar. She is coming off a season where she was awarded AVCA All-Midwest Team, A-10 All-Conference First Team, and A-10 All-Championship Team. Almodovar is very likely to record her 1,000th career kill over the course of the weekend as she sits at 992 entering the weekend. So far this season, she is tied for eighth in the nation with 57 kills. In addition to being deadly when she hits the ball, she does so at a very high rate, sporting a .291 hitting rate this season. 


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