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Atop the nation in kills per set, Thomas More volleyball team seeks to extend winning streak

By Don Owen
NKyTribune reporter

How effective is the Thomas More University volleyball team’s offense? If the latest NCAA Division III statistics are a gauge, Thomas More is among the nation’s best. In fact, the Saints are No. 1 nationally in kills per set (15.07) and 11th in hitting percentage (.253).

Those numbers have allowed Thomas More to post an 18-1 record going into Wednesday night’s home match against Centre College. First serve is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Connor Convocation Center in Crestview Hills.

Thomas More enters Wednesday ranked No. 7 nationally in the NCAA Division III poll, and the Saints have won seven consecutive matches. Centre owns a 5-11 overall record this season.

Thomas More senior setter Jenna Fessler has directed the offense to perfection this season and averages 8.12 assists per set.

Senior setter Jenna Fessler has directed the offense to perfection and averages 8.12 assists per set. The Beechwood High School graduate has enjoyed a stellar career at Thomas More, having been named the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year in 2014 and also earning honorable mention All-America accolades as a sophomore.

A year ago, Fessler was named first team All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference and honorable mention All-North Region accolades. She led the conference in assists (9.8 per set) while also totaling 291 digs (2.83/s), 95 kills, 37 service aces and 19 blocks.

A newcomer has also contributed big numbers to the Thomas More offensive attack as freshman outside hitter Emily Mohs ranks No. 43 nationally in hitting percentage at .353. The 6-foot-1 Mohs has converted 243 kills in 558 attempts with 46 errors.

Earlier this season against Transylvania, Mohs slammed down a career-high 29 kills and hit .491 as Thomas More pulled out a five-set victory in Lexington. Mohs, who has a team-leading 243 kills, is a graduate of Seton High School in Cincinnati.

Junior middle hitter Jenna Mummert is attacking at a .303 clip for the Saints and leads the team with 65 total blocks. Mummert is second on the team with 197 kills.

Thomas More has won 19 consecutive matches at home dating back to the 2016 season. The Saints have not lost at home since Sept. 21, 2016, when Hanover pulled out a five-set victory in the Connor Convocation Center. A year ago, Thomas More posted a 10-0 record at the Connor Convocation Center.

After Wednesday’s home match, Thomas More hits the road this weekend for a tournament in Michigan, where top-ranked Calvin (Mich.) is hosting a two-day event Friday and Saturday.

Thomas More will meet Calvin at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in the finale of that tournament.

Thomas More has defeated four nationally ranked teams this season. The Saints, who won the Presidents’ Athletic Conference championship last season, are competing as NCAA Division III independents this fall.

A year ago, Thomas More finished with a 29-6 overall record. The Saints also posted an 18-0 mark in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference.

Contact Don Owen at don@nkytrib.com and follow him on Twitter at @dontribunesport

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