Defiance College Invitational
Beavers place third at Defiance College Invitational
September 10, 2007
DEFIANCE, Ohio - The Bluffton University volleyball team added to its best start in the past decade with a pair of victories on Friday, Sept. 7, 2007, at the Defiance College Invitational. The Beavers improved to 6-1 on the season en route to playing in the top bracket on Saturday. Bluffton knocked off Shawnee State and Waynesburg on Friday before fatigue and injuries slowed the Beavers on Saturday as John Carroll and Huntington both took care of Bluffton in three straight games. With the wins on Friday night, Bluffton finished third, and for the second consecutive weekend standout freshman hitter Kayla Pickering (Jamestown/Greenview) was named to the All-Tournament Team.
In the tournament opener, Bluffton's outside hitters dominated from the outset. Sophomore Michele Rosen (Harrison/Harrison) drilled 20 kills with only three errors for a .500 hitting percentage. Freshman Kayla Pickering pounded 17 kills in four games and finished the match with a .361 hitting percentage. Also taking advantage of Shawnee State at the net was senior Rachel Alvarez (Convoy/Crestview) who hit .778 with seven kills. Leading the Beavers with 29 assists was junior setter Chelsea Wyse (Archbold/Archbold). Also finding Bluffton's hitters for 17 assists was freshman Brittany Duff (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta). Duff led the Beavers with four service aces while sophomore libero Brittany Roth (Findlay/Findlay) picked up a team-high 14 digs as Bluffton defeated Shawnee State 3-1 (30-24, 27-30, 30-20, 30-26). For the match, Bluffton pounded the nets, finishing with a .352 team hitting percentage.
Waynesburg proved to be a formidable opponent for the Beavers in the second match on Friday night, but Bluffton used a strong hitting performance to pull out a 19-17 victory in the rubber game. Alvarez bettered her career-best by five with a phenomenal 21-kill performance against Waynesburg. She hit .472 in the five-game victory. Pickering finished with 19 kills and 12 digs for her second double-double at Bluffton. Rosen tallied 16 kills. Wyse paced the Beavers with 23 assists, while Duff chipped in with 18. Starting libero Brittany Roth picked up 22 digs. Junior defensive specialist Kate Barnett (North Bloomfield/Lakeview) and Wyse both added 10 digs to spark Bluffton from the back row.
The nine games on Friday slowed Bluffton a step as John Carroll snapped the Beavers' three-match winning streak with a three-game victory in Saturday's lidlifter. Alvarez again led Bluffton with 10 kills while Pickering chipped in with 10 digs. Wyse notched 16 assists in the Beavers' loss to the Blue Streaks (32-30, 30-19, 30-15).
The end result was similar in Bluffton's final match at the Defiance College Invitational. Duff led the Beavers with 13 assists as Bluffton failed to place anyone in double digits for kills or digs. Huntington claimed the tournament championship with a convincing 3-0 victory over the Beavers (30-27, 30-16, 30-16). For the weekend, the Beavers hit .188 with 182 kills in 15 games.
Bluffton returns to action on Tuesday, Sept. 11, when it hosts Ohio Athletic Conference power Ohio Northern in Founders Hall. The match is slated to start at 7 p.m.