Bluffton to host Heartland Conference Tourney
Bluffton earns right to host 2009 HCAC Volleyball Tournament
November 4, 2009
BLUFFTON, Ohio - A three-set victory over long-time rival Defiance College in Founders Hall, the second time in as many years that Bluffton has swept the Yellow Jackets at home, capped off a perfect Heartland Conference regular season for the Beavers who now stand 25-5 overall and 8-0 in the HCAC. After rolling off four straight conference wins to close the 2008 season, Bluffton has now won 12 straight regular season conference matches heading into the tournament. In addition, the Beavers have been victorious in their last 15 matches overall, dating back to a three-set win over Wilmington College on September 30.
The 2009 Volleyball Beavers became the first squad in any sport to earn the right to host an NCAA automatic qualifying tournament since Bluffton joined the Heartland Conference in 2008. It marks only the third outright HCAC championship, following the 2004 women's track and field team which claimed the HCAC title in 2004 and the softball team which also won the regular season with a 12-2 mark in 2004. Recently, the 2008 softball team shared the regular season championship with Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
Picked to finish fourth in the pre-season HCAC coaches' poll, Bluffton dropped only one set to Hanover in conference play. It marks just the third time since MSJ entered the HCAC that the Lions have not hosted the conference tournament as The Mount had won 10 of 11 regular season titles. The Beavers will face the winner of #4 Defiance vs. #5 Rose-Hulman at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7. #2 MSJ takes on the winner of #3 Hanover vs. #6 Anderson at 5 p.m. in Founders Hall in the first semi-final. The automatic bid to next week's NCAA tournament will be decided at 1 p.m. on Sunday when the semi-final winners square off.