The Braves return three players from its 2022 team, Akiel Williams, Kevin Davidsonand Trevan Johnson.
Williams was named Second Team All-GPAC in his first collegiate season. He earned NAIA and GPAC Defensive Player of the Week honors once. Williams set a new school record for blocks in a match with 11. He finished the season with 104 kills, a .423 attacking percentage, five assists, 21 digs, and 72 blocks. Williams was ranked 41st in the NAIA in solo blocks (14), 46th in block assists (58), and 45th in total blocks (72).
Davidson appeared in six matches as a sophomore. He had 21 digs, four assists, and three service aces.
Johnson played in 12 matches. He had 15 kills, a .143 attacking percentage, five assists, 11 service aces, 17 digs, and four blocks.
The Braves finished 2022 with an overall record of 15-9 and played in the GPAC Tournament Championship Match for the second straight season.
Ottawa finished the 2022 season strong, winning four of its last five matches.
Ottawa’s 15 victories in 2022 are the second most in program history and the most wins by the Braves since the 2019 season when OU won 13 matches.
The Braves finished the 2022 season averaging 11.2 kills per set, 10.5 assists per set, 2.6 blocks per set, 1.3 service aces per set, and 9.4 digs per set.
Friday’s match against Missouri Valley College is the 14th meeting between the two teams. MVC leads the series, 7-6, and won the lone meeting last season 3-1 (25-22, 27-25, 25-22, 25-22). Ottawa is 3-1 against the Vikings in Wilson Field House. The first time the two teams met was on Feb. 27, 2016. MVC won the match 3-1 (18-25, 25-21, 21-25, 20-25).
Ottawa’s match against Westcliff University will be the second meeting between the two teams. The teams met for the first time last year in Wilson Field House on Jan. 19. OU won the match 3-2 (20-25, 25-19, 22-25, 25-22, 15-13).
Ottawa and no. 13 Missouri Baptist University will meet for the 13th time on Saturday afternoon. MBU leads the series 12-0 and won the lone meeting last season on Feb. 5, 3-1 (25-22, 27-25, 25-22, 25-22). The first ever meeting between the Braves and Spartans happened on March 4, 2016 in St. Louis. MBU won the match 3-0 (14-25, 15-25, 23-25).
Westcliff will play its first match of the season on Thursday, Jan. 26 against no. 8 Park University in Parkville, Mo. Missouri Valley’s first match of the year will be against the Braves on Friday afternoon. Missouri Baptist’s first match of the season is on Jan. 26 at Missouri S&T.
Westcliff finished the 2022 season with an overall record of 9-1. In 20 matches last season, WU averaged 11 kills per set, 10.4 assists per set, 1.5 blocks per set, 1.3 service aces per set, and 9.4 digs per set.
Missouri Valley ended the 2022 season on a four match losing streak. The Vikings had an overall record of 13-12 and a HAAC record of 8-10. MVC averaged 12.6 kills per set, 12.1 assists per set, 1.3 blocks per set, 1.6 service aces per set, and 9.3 digs per set.
Missouri Baptist had an overall record of 21-8 and a HAAC mark of 13-5 in 2022. MBU ended the season with a 3-2 loss to Grand View University. The Spartans averaged 12.1 kills per set, 11.5 assists per set, 2.2 blocks per set, 1.8 service aces per set, and 9.2 digs per set in 2022.