Findlay 3, Bluffton 0
Beavers start slowly but push Findlay in three-game loss to the Oilers
October 17, 2006
FINDLAY, Ohio - The Bluffton University volleyball team made the short trip north on Interstate 75 to Findlay where it ran into an athletic Oiler squad that dispatched the Beavers in three straight games by scores of 30-9, 30-13 and 30-27. The non-conference loss leaves Bluffton 9-18 while the Division II University of Findlay upped its mark to 18-6.
The Oilers wasted no time in introducing the Beavers to speed and precision of their game as Findlay reeled off 11 consecutive points to start the opener. A Bluffton timeout slowed the onslaught before Findlay caught fire again and used seven straight serves to build a 21-4 advantage less than fifteen minutes into the match. The Beavers struggled to match Findlay's aggressiveness as the Oilers dominated game one for a 30-9 victory.
Although Findlay altered its lineup for game two, the Oilers allowed Bluffton to score consecutive points only once, with the game well in hand. The Beavers were still within striking distance, 10-6, before Findlay went on a 16-4 run, giving the Oilers a 26-10 advantage. Bluffton scored the next two points on a Michele Rosen (Harrison/Harrison) kill and Katie Moore (Bucyrus/Wynford) serve, but Findlay countered with the final three points of the game for a 30-13 win.
Despite struggling with matchup problems throughout the first two games, Bluffton would not go down to the Oilers without a fight. With senior setter Brittany Shultz (Hudson, Ind./Prairie Heights) at the service line, Bluffton rallied for four straight points and a 7-5 lead early in game three. On her next trip back to serve, Shultz helped the Beavers tack on three more scores as Bluffton led, 17-14. Bluffton traded kills with the Oilers and was up by two points, 27-25, before the Oilers strung together the longest rally of game for a 30-27 victory over the Beavers.
Coach Steve Yarnell was pleased with the way his team responded after the Oilers opened the match with 11 straight points in front of rowdy Findlay crowd that got behind the home team. "The girls saw tonight how the speed of the game differs between Division II and Division III volleyball. Playing teams like Findlay is great preparation as we work toward the Heartland Conference Tournament in the upcoming weeks."
One area of concern that the Beavers will address is serve reception. Findlay exposed parts of Bluffton's game that need work. The Beavers struggled to pass the ball to the setter as the Findlay servers kept Bluffton off-balance with their mix of speed and accuracy.
Four Bluffton hitters tallied five kills on the night. Freshmen Jordan Scifres (Greenwood, Ind./Lutheran), Audra Coleman (Lima/Central Catholic) and Michele Rosen along with junior Kalla Aeschliman (Wauseon/Wauseon) all finished the match with five kills. Junior Rachel Alvarez (Convoy/Crestview) put up three block assists at the net for Bluffton.
Scifres led the Beavers defensively with eight digs while sophomore Chelsea Wyse (Archbold/Archbold) posted 12 assists.
Bluffton will travel to face Heartland Conference stalwart Hanover College on Saturday, October 21, 2006. The match is slated to begin at 12 p.m.