Bluffton stays perfect in HCAC with three-set thrashing of Anderson
October 8, 2009
By: Erin Neal, sports information assistant
Click here for box score
BLUFFTON, Ohio -The Bluffton University women's volleyball team needed only three
sets to take down the Anderson University Ravens in Founders Hall on Thursday, Oct.
8, 25-9, 25-19, 25-23. Following their fourth consecutive win during the past two
weeks, the Beavers improved to 14-5 overall and 3-0 in the HCAC, putting them in sole
possession of first place in the conference. Anderson fell to 11-8 (1-1 HCAC). With
the victory over Anderson on Purple-Palooza night, the Beavers have avenged their
only three 2008 conference setbacks in the first three HCAC matches of the 2009 season
while dropping just one set to Hanover along the way.
The Beavers came out in full force as they quickly jumped out to a 13-2 lead, forcing
two quick Anderson timeouts. Sophomore Courtney Zimmerman (Leesburg/Fairfield) led the Beavers in set one with five kills, followed by teammates
Jenna Eshleman (Landisville, Penn./Hempfield), Nicole Wood (Tiffin/Hopewell-Loudon), and Allison Streicher (Continental), each with three kills apiece. Senior libero Brittany Roth (Findlay) also went on a serving spree, as she rifled two service aces in set one
alone on an eight-point jag by the Beavers.
Sets two and three both allowed the Beavers to keep their composure and fight to come
back from behind and pull out two final victories. In set two, the Beavers found themselves
down by as many as five points, but a couple of kills from Streicher brought the Beavers
back on the right track. Junior setter Shauna Rowland (Bucyrus/Wynford) connected with Zimmerman and Wood to seal the deal in the second
set, as they slammed down the last five points for the Beavers. To open set three,
the Beavers found themselves down by four points once again, only to come back with
solid net play from middle spikers Heather Rodman (Mansfield/Mansfield Christian) and Zimmerman.
On the night, the Beavers hit an outstanding .254 against the Ravens, including a
15 kill, no error performance in the lidlifter. Zimmerman led all hitters with her
11 kills, followed by Wood with 10, Eshleman with eight, and Streicher and Rodman
both with six. Rowland directed the Bluffton offensive front line with a solid 34
assists. But it was the Beavers' defense that anchored the victory, as Zimmerman led
at the net with six block assists and three solo blocks. Defending the backcourt,
Roth paced the Beavers with 14 digs, Streicher with 11, Rowland and Eshleman with nine
each, and Kayla Pickering (Jamestown/Greenview) added five.
The Beavers are back on the road after a 4-0 stint in Founders as they travel to HCAC
foe Manchester College next Wednesday night, October 14. They then return to Founders
Hall on Saturday, October 17 when they host Otterbein College and Grace College in
a non-conference tri-match. The Beavers take on Grace at 1 p.m and Otterbein at 5