Beavers sweep Defiance to finish HCAC with spotless 8-0 mark
November 3, 2009
By: Erin Neal, sports information assistant
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BLUFFTON, Ohio - It was a picture-perfect ending to a phenomenal regular season campaign
by the Bluffton University Beaver volleyball team on Tuesday, November 3, in Founders
Hall. The Beavers swept conference rival Defiance College in three straight sets,
25-15, 25-23 and 25-17. The win gave Bluffton outright ownership of the Heartland
Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season crown, the first ever in Bluffton volleyball
history. Likewise, because of their sensational efforts this season, the Beavers will
play hosts to this year's HCAC tournament this weekend.
Before the opening serve, three Bluffton seniors were honored for the hard work and
dedication to the Beaver volleyball program over the past four years. Michele Rosen (Harrison), Brittany Duff (Wapakoneta), and Brittany Roth (Findlay) have each played an impeccable and irreplaceable role in the success of
Beaver volleyball during their tenure.
Pacing the Beaver offense was the outside hitter duo of sophomores Jenna Eshleman (Landisville, Penn./Hempfield) and Nicole Wood (Tiffin/Hopewell-Loudon). Eshleman, who leads the team in kills for the season with
346, swatted 14 kills and Wood, second on the team in kills with 268, slammed down
10 kills of her own. Junior opposite Allison Streicher (Continental) also had eight kills in the effort, followed by the tandem of sophomore
middle hitters Heather Rodman (Mansfield/Mansfield Christian) and Courtney Zimmerman (Leesburg/Fairfield) with seven and six kills, respectively. Shauna Rowland (Bucyrus/Wynford) conducted the offense with 37 assists and she also dished out two
Rowland and Eshleman led the defense with 11 digs apiece, while sophomore Mandi Leemaster (Fremont/Old Fort) chipped in 10 digs. Roth, who was honored for her recent ascent
to the top of Bluffton's all-time digs list, also scooped up nine digs in the victory.
Bluffton will now gear up to host its first ever Heartland Conference automatic qualifying
tournament this Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 7-8, in Founders Hall. Check the Bluffton
University Volleyball Webpage for updates on the HCAC tournament, including brackets
and match times, on Wednesday, Nov. 4.