JCU Volleyball’s historic season continues with win over Ohio Northern


JCU Sports Information Department

The team celebrates following the historic victory over Ohio Northern.

Ashley McCall, Sports Editor

The John Carroll Volleyball team has had an extremely successful season thus far with a ten-game win streak this year, the first time since 1996. But, the squad continues to make history by defeating the Ohio Northern University Polar Bears for the first time in over 21 years on Sat., Oct. 15. 

Since 1984, the Blue and Gold have played 51 matches against the Polar Bears and have only won five games in total. The last Blue Streak win was on Oct. 16, 2001. However, on Saturday, this all changed. 

John Carroll defied all odds and defeated Ohio Northern in four sets (25-17, 25-22, 17-25, 25-21) at the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center. 

The first set opened with a relatively back and forth fashion until the Blue and Gold pulled ahead with a four-point streak starting with a kill by Jessica Liddle ‘25. 

Maziarz and Dziubinski setting up for an attack on Saturday. (JCU Sports Information Department)

The Polar Bears tried to get back into a rhythm, but to their dismay, the Blue Streaks did not take their foot off the gas, cruising their way to 25 points and holding the visitors to just 17 points. 

With momentum on their side, John Carroll kept the points rolling as they found themselves ahead by four points at 17-13. Ohio Northern’s Sonia Dahlin started a scoring spree for the visiting team and tied the set up at 18 points a piece. 

The Blue and Gold did not back down though as they finalized this set with a score of 25-22 in favor of the hosts. 

As the scores kept getting closer between the two teams, it was no shock that the Polar Bears found themselves the victors of the third set after a dominant performance by Ohio Northern, but the Blue Streaks did not allow this set to break their spirit and rallied to win the fourth set. 

The visitors got off to a fast start in the final set as they led 9-2 early on. 

The Blue and Gold pulled their way back into the game as the team tied it up at 12 with a kill by graduate student Cassi Calamunci off an assist by graduate student Ally Bartolone. 

Calamunci and Dziubinski stood strong at the net for the Blue and Gold against Ohio Northern. (JCU Sports Information Department)

Bartolone’s assists continued to provide points for John Carroll, as Kendra Dziubinski ‘26 had a kill to take the lead for the home team in the next play. 

This lead would not last long as the Polar Bears went on a five point scoring streak.  

It looked as if the match would come down to the fifth set, but Blue Streaks turned up their offensive drive as the squad pulled through the finish line hitting 25 points and holding Ohio Northern to 21. 

Calamunci led the team as she recorded 19 kills. Dziubinski followed behind with 8 of her own. Bartolone tallied 23 assists while Maddie Maziarz ‘24 added 19. Defensively, Lexi MacDonald ‘24 held strong with 23 digs, while Maziarz and Calamunci contributed 16 and 12 respectively. 

“To continue our success from this weekend, I think the team just needs to remember to relax in games and to not get panicked when we get down a few points,” said Dziubinski. “I think we did a great job at coming back from a couple missed points in the sets against Ohio Northern. We truly played as one and as long as we keep that up, we will be amazing.”

The Blue and Gold will be back in action as they head to Westerville, OH to take on another Ohio Athletic Conference opponent, the Otterbein University Cardinals, on Wed., Oct. 19 at 7:00 p.m.

“Our team goal this season is to win the OAC,” continued Dziubinski. “We’ve talked about how our conference is really competitive and every year the championship is a toss up because all the teams are so evenly matched, but if we continue to play like we did this weekend, I know we can achieve our goal and bring home a championship.”