Bluffton 3, Franklin 0
Beavers pick up first HCAC victory since 2004 with 3-0 win over Franklin
October 5, 2006
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's volleyball team picked up its first Heartland Conference victory of the year and the first HCAC win during head coach Steve Yarnell's tenure at Bluffton with a straight set thrashing of the Franklin College Grizzlies on Thursday, October 5. The Beavers took care of business 30-20, 30-22 and 30-25 as they improved to 7-16, 1-1 in the HCAC.
The Grizzlies went up, 9-5, in game one before Bluffton responded with seven of the next eight points on the serving of senior Katie Moore (Bucyrus/Wynford) and Audra Coleman (Lima/Central Catholic) for a 12-10 lead. Neither team gained a marked advantage until, with the game knotted at 19, the Beavers rolled 11 of the next 12 points to stun the Grizzlies, 30-20. Coleman served the final eight points of the set as freshman middle hitter Anna Viars (Lebanon/Lebanon) dominated at the net with three kills and two blocks during the run.
Bluffton jumped out to a 3-1 lead in game two thanks to the serving of senior setter Brittany Shultz (Hudson, Ind./Prairie Heights) and the net play of Viars. With the Beavers on top, 18-14, Franklin went on a three-point run to close the gap to one point. Holding a slim two-point advantage, 21-19, Bluffton closed with nine of the last 12 points to take the game convincingly, 30-22.
Despite trailing Franklin 5-0 at the onset of the third game, the Beavers rallied, using the support of the student faithful which was transplanted opposite of its usual stage presence to the upper deck due to preparations for the presidential inauguration, to overtake Franklin, 12-11, following a five-point Bluffton spurt. The lead bounced back-and-forth until the Beavers went ahead, 25-22, and never looked back. Bluffton improved to 7-16 with the 30-25 win in game three as it gave the Grizzlies their first loss in the HCAC this year.
Viars again led the Beavers as she pounded 15 kills on only 24 attempts for an unbelievable .542 hitting percentage. Freshmen Michele Rosen (Harrison/Harrison) and Jordan Scifres (Greenwood, Ind./Lutheran) cleaned up on the outside with nine and eight kills while juniors Kalla Aeschliman (Wauseon/Wauseon) and Rachel Alvarez (Convoy/Crestview) chipped in with eight and seven kills. Shultz paced the Beavers with 23 assists while Chelsea Wyse (Archbold/Archbold) tacked on 17 assists. Viars patrolled the middle with 5 blocks, including 2 solos, while Scifres stopped four Grizzly attacks at the net. In the back, Brittany Roth (Findlay/Findlay) played a huge part in the victory as she picked up 18 digs.
Bluffton was firing on all cylinders as the team hit .441 in the first game, .279 in game two and .229 in the final game (.304 for the match). The Beavers tallied nine team blocks and served five aces in the three-set victory.
The volleyball team returns to action on Tuesday, October 10, when it travels to face the Anderson University Ravens at 7 p.m.