River City Tournament
Bluffton opens the season 3-1 at River City Tournament
August 30, 2008
MARIETTA, Ohio - The Bluffton University volleyball team took advantage of its superior depth in posting a 3-1 mark at the River City Tournament on August 29-30, 2008. After splitting a pair of matches at Marietta on Friday night, Bluffton exacted revenge on Wooster before keeping Oberlin winless with a pair of four-set victories on Saturday afternoon.
Despite finding themselves down two sets to one in their River City opener, the Bluffton University volleyball team rallied to win sets four and five to knock off Grove City on Friday, August 29, 2008. The Beavers took set one 25-14 before Grove City turned the tide by limiting Bluffton to 17 and 14 points in sets two and three. Bluffton recovered and won a pair of tight sets, 25-22 and 15-11, to dispatch the Wolverines, who went 20-12 a year ago, in the tiebreaker.
Pacing the Bluffton attack with 18 kills and a .204 hitting percentage was sophomore hitter Kayla Pickering (Jamestown/Greenview). She also picked up 20 digs and had two block assists. Sophomore Allison Streicher (Continental/Continental) also finished with double-digit kills, 10, and a .184 hitting percentage.
Junior libero Brittany Roth (Findlay/Findlay) led the Beavers with 31 digs while freshman Jenna Eshleman (Landisville, Penn./Hempfield) added 21 digs. Sophomore setter Shauna Rowland (Bucyrus/Wynford) tallied 43 assists, five service aces and two block assists. Crystal Augsburger (Bowling Green/Bowling Green) finished with two solo blocks and two block assists.
In the nightcap, Bluffton fell to the Wooster Fighting Scots in three straight sets by the identical scores of 25-21. Augsburger knocked down eight kills for a .250 hitting percentage while Pickering tallied six kills and three service aces.
Roth again paced Bluffton with 21 digs. Pickering and Eshleman picked up 15 and 13 digs, respectively. Sophomore Briana Rapp (West Jefferson/Jonathan Alder) added 10 digs while Rowland led the Beavers with 16 assists. Augsburger added two solo blocks and one block assist and Eshleman chipped in with one solo block and two block assists.
The Beaver volleyball team opened on Saturday with a rematch of Friday's second match against The College of Wooster. Bluffton dropped a three-set decision to the Fighting Scots only 15 hours earlier. The Beavers managed to start the match off with a big block by Crystal Augsburger and Allison Streicher. However, the Fighting Scots came right back for four consecutive points to take control. Wooster took the first set by storm, 25-16.
The next three sets were a different story as the Beavers awoke and went on a three-set jag to capture the match 3-1 (16-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-15). Kayla Pickering led the way with 12 kills. Allison Streicher smashed nine of her own and freshman Nicole Wood (Tiffin/Hopewell Loudon) had her way with the Wooster block, putting away eight kills with only one error for a .350 hitting percentage.
Shauna Rowland totaled 33 assists and chipped in 14 digs. Brittany Roth controlled the back row, leading the way with an impressive showing of 32 digs. Pickering and freshman Jenna Eshleman chipped in 19 and 13 digs, respectively, while Wood added four defensive stuffs at the net.
In the second match of the day Bluffton faced off against Oberlin College. The team carried its momentum over from the Wooster match and took advantage of Yeowomen errors to take the first set, 25-14.
Oberlin turned up its defense in the second set and capitalized on Beaver miscues to capture the second set, 25-21. Bluffton notched 12 kills with only 3 errors for a solid .281 hitting percentage to take the third set, 25-21. During set three, sophomore standout Kayla Pickering went down with an ankle injury. Jenna Eshleman picked up the slack, ramming home seven kills with only one error in the fourth set to help lead Bluffton to its third win of the 2008 campaign.
Streicher led the Beaver attackers with 11 kills and a .333 hitting percentage. Eshleman pounded 10 kills of her own and tallied an impressive .450 hitting percentage. Shauna Rowland paced the offense with 32 assists.
Defensively, Brittany Roth led the Beaver defense with 18 digs while Rowland and Eshleman racked up 16 and 14, respectively. At the net, Nicole Wood led the way with two solos and four block assists. Freshman setter Morgan Hicks (Convoy/Crestview) singed three service aces, providing a spark from the service line.
"As a team, we improved in some aspect each match this weekend and were able to see and try out players at different positions. We were pretty balanced this weekend offensively which should keep our opponents on their heels while making it difficult to set their defense up against us," commented Coach Yarnell.
Bluffton will jump right back into action on Wednesday, Sept. 3, when the Beavers welcome Ursuline College to Founders Hall for the 2008 home opener at 7 p.m.