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Tough Start To Season For No. 4 Express Volleyball In Oakland CC Block City Classic
 August 25, 2013

By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information

The No. 4 Express women's volleyball team couldn't find much consistency in their regular season opener over the past two days. 


In the opener against Muskegon on Friday, the team came out strong to take the first set 25-19. They dropped the next two sets, though, 19-25 and 23-25 before forcing a fifth set with a 25-22 fourth set win. Following that, they dug themselves an early hole in the fifth set before falling 10-15.

In the fourth set of that match, the Express had fought back and taken a 22-20 lead, but lost the next four points.

In the first match, Tiffani Hobbs and Kenzie Kleinhenz each had a team-high nine kills, while Stephanie Kipp added eight. Ciara Wirick added a team-high 21 assists, while Jessica Cooper had 14. Wirick had a team-high four aces, while Lisa Urbanski had a team-high 30 digs. Sara Turner-Smith (15), Aricka LaVoy (14), Cooper (13) and Wirick (10) also contributed in digs. In blocks,Kayla Siefker had a team-high with two solo blocks (three overall blocks), while Kenzie Kleinhenz and Jazmine Thomas each added five total blocks. Those two each had one solo block. 

In the next match, the Express came out flat and lost the first set 19-25. The second set was where they played their best volleyball of the day. They opened the set with an 11-0 run. After giving up a point, the Express rattled off 12 more to take a 23-1 lead. They would win the set 25-6. After taking the third set 25-21, the Express dropped a tough fourth set 23-25. Then, similar to the first match, the Express got off to a rough start in the fifth set, going down 5-0 to start, before losing it 5-15. 

In the match against Kalamazoo Valley, Kipp produced a team-high nine kills, while Bailey Dangler added five. Cooper led the team with 12 assists, while Wirick had 11. Urbanksi led the team, once again, with 17 digs, while Wirick added 12. Kennedy Geyman and Turner-Smith each added eight digs. Thomas had a team-high five blocks (two solo), while Dominique Yates added four blocks (one solo).


In their first match on Saturday, a 22-25, 19-21, 23-25 loss to Schoolcraft College, the Express got a team-high nine kills from Kenzie Kleinhenz, while Tiffani Hobbs added eight and Sara Turner-Smith had five. Jessica Cooper led the team with 14 assists, while Ciarra Wirick had 11.

Lisa Urbanski had a team-high 14 digs, while Turner-Smith had a team-high two blocks (both solo). Turner-Smith and Wirick each added two aces to lead the team.

Following that match, the Express lost 16-25, 25-22, 24-26, 13-25 to host school Oakland Community College.

In the match, the Express got seven kills each from Stephanie Kipp and Bailey Dangler, while Jazmine Thomas had six. Wirick (15) and Cooper (14), once again, led the Express in assists, while Urbanski dug out 14 balls for the second consecutive match. Thomas had a team-high two blocks (one solo).


The matches for both days were held at Oakland Community College in Auburn Hills, Mich.

The Express are now 0-4 to start the season, although they've experienced two five set matches and a four set match that featured a two point loss in a swing game.

The next action for the Express is next weekend at home with the Owens Invitational. The team will play Mott Community College and Pasco-Hernando Community College on Aug. 30 before two more matches each of the following two days. The action on Aug. 30 begins at 3:30 p.m. for the Express.

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