Bluffton 3, Lake Erie 0
Beavers improve to 4-1 with sweep of Lake Erie in Founders Hall
September 5, 2007
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University volleyball team picked up where it left off at the Eastern Mennonite Tournament, cutting down the Lake Erie Storm in three straight games (30-16, 30-18, 30-21) in front of a raucous Founders Hall crowd on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2007. With a 4-1 record, the Beavers are off to their fastest start in the past 10 years.
The first game went back and forth until three straight points with Chelsea Wyse (Archbold/Archbold) serving put the Beavers up 13-8. The Beavers five-point advantage more than doubled as junior defensive specialist Kate Barnett (North Bloomfield/Lakeview) took advantage of four Lake Erie hitting errors to push the margin to 11 points, 25-14. Freshman Alyssa Simon (Carey/Vanlue) closed out the match for the Beavers, serving the final two points for a 30-16 victory in the opener.
Despite losing freshman standout Shauna Rowland (Bucyrus/Wynford) to an injured ankle early in game two, the Beavers used outstanding serving by Barnett and Wyse to post a convincing 30-18 win. Senior Rachel Alvarez (Convoy/Crestview) came up big for Bluffton midway through the second game, knocking down three kills and a block in a span of eight Barnett serves. Wyse served the final six points to give the Beavers a 2-0 lead after two games.
Wyse opened game three with a pair of aces sandwiched around a Kayla Pickering (Jamestown/Greenview) kill to give the Beavers a quick 3-0 lead. Lake Erie did not go away quietly as The Storm pushed its way to a 16-13 lead forcing Bluffton to regroup with a timeout. Freshman setter Brittany Duff (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) evened the score with three serves and sophomore libero Brittany Roth (Findlay/Findlay) then put the match out of reach when she scored five consecutive points from the service line. Pickering smashed four kills in Bluffton's last six points, including an exclamation point for the win, as the Beavers improved to 4-1 on the year in the 2007 home opener.
Pickering led the Beavers at the net with 10 kills and only one error for a .429 hitting percentage. She also picked up 10 digs for her first collegiate double-double. Michele Rosen (Harrison/Harrison) and Rachel Alvarez finished with nine and seven kills, respectively. Wyse tallied 10 assists while Rowland picked up 10 in just over one game. Roth, who controlled the game with her passing, led the Beavers with 17 digs for the match. Barnett and Wyse both chipped in with 10 digs each. Alvarez stuffed the Lake Erie hitters at the net with four blocks, including one solo. The Bluffton spikers were impressive in the opening game, finishing with a .379 hitting percentage. The seven service aces by Chelsea Wyse was just one off the single match record of eight.
Bluffton returns to action on Friday, Sept. 7, when it plays in the Defiance College Tournament. The Beavers open with Shawnee State at 3 p.m. before they tangle with Waynesburg at 7 p.m.