ONU 3, Bluffton 1
Beavers give ONU all it can handle before falling in four games
September 11, 2007
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University volleyball team (6-4) started quickly against the highly-touted Polar Bears from ONU (5-4), but a game three injury to freshman Amanda Didion (Sandusky/Margaretta) gave Ohio Northern the momentum it needed to close out the match in four games. The Beavers fell by game scores of 30-22, 28-30, 30-20 and 30-13.
Didion and fellow freshman Kayla Pickering (Jamestown/Greenview) helped push Bluffton to a 19-15 lead in the opener, combining for six kills in the early going. The Polar Bears turned the tide with the serving of Laura Vuyk who scored eight straight points to put ONU up, 24-19. The two teams traded service errors late in the contest before the Polar bears wrapped up game one by a 30-22 count.
Neither team was able to open up a significant lead in game two until Michele Rosen (Harrison/Harrison) aced ONU on back-to-back serves to give the Beavers a 23-20 advantage. With the Beavers up by a point, Didion took advantage of a pair of Polar Bear errors to push the Beavers' lead back to three points, 29-26. Bluffton closed out its 30-28 game two victory to knot the match at one game each.
The Beavers were down by only a point, 10-9, until Ohio Northern went on 15-7 jag which propelled the Polar Bears to a 25-16 cushion. Didion stopped the rally with a kill, but she went down in the process and was forced to the sideline for the remainder of the evening. Rachel Alvarez (Convoy/Crestview) tried to fire up her teammates with an ace, but the Northern advantage proved to be too much as ONU took game three by a 30-20 score.
Bluffton ran out of gas in game four as ONU opened a 13-point margin, 19-6, before Alyssa Simon (Carey/Vanlue) found a hole in the Northern defense for the kill. Alvarez knocked down a pair of spikes late in the match as the Beavers fell in game four by a score of 30-13.
Didion hit .500 for the match with seven kills and no hitting errors before exiting late in game three. Rosen took team-high honors with 11 kills and a .182 hitting percentage. Finding the Bluffton hitters was junior setter Chelsea Wyse (Archbold/Archbold) who led Bluffton with 21 assists. Wyse chipped in with nine digs and three service aces. Also setting up the Bluffton spikers was Brittany Duff (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) who collected 13 assists. Defensively, Brittany Roth (Findlay/Findlay) picked up 18 digs in the loss to the Polar Bears.
The Beavers travel to Heidelberg for a tri-match with the Student Princes and Marietta on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2007. Bluffton is slated to take on the Pioneers at 3 p.m.