Bluffton 3, Transylvania 1
Beavers move to 14-9 with four set victory over Transylvania
October 24, 2008
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University volleyball team was clicking on all cylinders early against Transylvania, taking the crucial Heartland Conference match in four sets on Saturday, October 24, 2008. The Beavers avenged a three-set loss to the Pioneers at the Ohio Wesleyan Tournament on Sept. 6. With the win, Bluffton improved to 14-9 overall and 2-3 in the HCAC, while the Pioneers dropped to 10-16 with a 2-5 mark in the conference. Both of Bluffton's conference victories this season were to opponents that got the best of the Beavers a year ago.
Pacing the Bluffton hitters with 12 kills and only two errors for a .303 hitting percentage was freshman standout Jenna Eshleman (Landisville, Penn./Hempfield). She added three service aces, all late in the second set, 11 digs and a pair of blocks. It marked Eshleman's eighth double-double of the 2008 campaign. Sophomore Allison Streicher (Continental) pounded 11 kills on a variety of swings, while also picking up 10 digs for her second double-double in less than a week.
Freshman Nicole Wood (Tiffin/Hopewell Loudon) came off the bench for nine spikes and four blocks against the Pioneers. Providing Bluffton with a dominant presence at the net, freshman Heather Rodman (Mansfield/Mansfield Christian) piled up seven block assists and one solo block in the victory. Morgan Hicks (Convoy/Crestview) smoked three aces against the Pioneers' defense.
Sophomore setter Shauna Rowland (Bucyrus/Wynford), who rolled off the first 10 points in set one at the service line, moved the ball around to all corners of the court while finding her teammates for 34 assists. She put together her 11th double-double of the season with 15 digs. Junior libero Brittany Roth (Findlay) chipped in with 15 digs and Amy Simindinger (Lima/Bath) added seven digs and a pair of service aces. Sophomore Crystal Augsburger (Bowling Green) entered the fray midway through the fourth set and the move paid immediate dividends. In addition to a pair of kills, she stuffed Transy with a solo block late in the match that helped Bluffton finish its furious rally after being down 22-16.
The Beavers had one of their finest blocking nights during Coach Yarnell's tenure, finishing with 14 total blocks. Bluffton hit .321 in the second set and rifled 10 aces at the service line while damaging Transy's hopes for a berth in the Heartland Conference tournament.
Bluffton jumps right back into action on Saturday, Oct. 25, when the Beavers host Rose-Hulman in another HCAC clash with tournament implications for both teams. The match with the Engineers is slated to start at 12 noon in Founders Hall.