Emily Dixon, Sarah Matesich and Searra Schell have helped the Wittenberg University volleyball team climb to No. 3 in the last latest NCAA Division III poll. The Tigers are 13-2 this season.
Dixon, a senior and a 2002 Granville graduate, leads the team in blocks. The middle hitter was named to the all-tournament team at the "Border Battle," which was hosted by Wittenberg and featured the top four teams in Ohio and Michigan.
Matesich, a 2004 Newark Catholic graduate, racked up 137 assists at setter in the same tournament. Schell, a 2005 Newark Catholic graduate, has seen time at outside hitter. She had 5 kills in the tournament.
Wittenberg is defending its NCAC championship.
[SPRINGFIELD, Ohio] Former Newark Catholic High School volleyball standout Searra Schell of Hebron, Ohio, has decided to continue her athletic and academic careers at Wittenberg University, Tiger Head Coach Paco Labrador announced. Schell will be a member of Wittenberg's Class of 2009 that will start school in August 2005.
Schell, a 5-10 outside hitter, looks to follow in the footsteps of another Wittenberg outside hitter from Newark Catholic, graduated All-American Monica McDonald. Schell brings a Division III state championship ring with her. As a senior, she garnered third-team all-state recognition and first-team all-district and all-league honors.
"Every player from Newark Catholic that I have coached has had relentless work ethic," Labrador said. "From the classroom, to the weight room, to the practice floor, they push themselves extremely hard. Searra will, without question, battle every day for a starting position."
Schell isn't just a dominating hitter in volleyball, she was awarded most valuable offensive player on the Green Wave softball team as well. A first-team all-league and second-team all-district slugger, Schell earned four varsity letters in softball.
In keeping with tradition, Coach Labrador has recruited yet another scholarly player. Schell has been a member of the "A" Honor Roll all four years of high school and earned academic All-Ohio honors.
"I expect my team to play smart and Searra fits the mold of an intelligent student and athlete," Labrador said.
Wittenberg's volleyball team finished the 2004 season with a 35-3 record and a No. 4 national ranking. The Tigers won their eighth straight North Coast Athletic Conference regular season and tournament titles, and they advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the 10th time in the last 11 years. Labrador is entering his third year at the helm of the Wittenberg program with a sparkling 63-10 overall record, including a mark of 16-0 in NCAC regular season matches.
Wittenberg University is a nationally recognized college for the liberal arts and sciences affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Wittenberg is distinguished by its strong interdisciplinary programs such as East Asian Studies and Russian Area Studies. Although Wittenberg's traditional strengths have been in the liberal arts, recently the sciences, management and education have also developed into popular majors for students. Eight thriving pre-professional programs contribute to the educational experience of Wittenberg students, 70 percent of whom eventually pursue graduate studies.