Bluffton 3, Franklin 2
Oct. 11, 2013
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University volleyball team gave everybody in the Sommer Center their money's worth in a grueling five-set Heartland Conference victory over Franklin College on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. Homecoming weekend started with a bang as the Beavers improved to 10-13 overall and 2-1 in the HCAC. The Grizzlies proved worthy opposition while falling to 13-8 overall and 2-1 in the conference.
Bluffton controlled the first set from start to finish as four straight points with Mackenzie McFarlin (Ashland) at the service line early powered the home team to a convincing 25-16 victory. Set two saw Bluffton open a 20-15 advantage with server extraordinaire Sara Roth (Findlay/Van Buren) scoring four straight points at the line. Franklin responded, however, with 11 of the next 15 points en route to a 26-24 win which evened the match.
The third set again went down to the wire with Franklin pulling out a 25-22 victory that gave the Grizzlies a set advantage over the home team. With Bluffton already comfortably ahead 15-10 in a must-have fourth set, freshman Marissa Krier (Massillon/Central Christian) put it on ice thanks to five straight serves that pushed the lead to 19-11. The Beavers closed out the set with a 25-15 win before completing the comeback with a 15-11 victory in the rubber match.
Freshman Adrienne Shepard (Arlington) and sophomore Kendra Parmenter (Grove City) lit up the Grizzlies with 18 kills apiece. Shepard's 18 spikes was a career high as she dominated the net with a .500 hitting percentage. She was also in on two blocks. Parmenter hit .412 with two block assists. Sophomore Jenny Brown (St. Marys/Memorial) was also in double figures with 11 kills and four total blocks. Brooke Ruffer (Stryker), who handed out a team-best 38 assists, and freshman Lauren Weisgarber (Bolivar/Tuscarawas Valley) chipped in with nine and eight kills, respectively. Weisgarber had a monster match, hitting .500 with no errors on the night.
Krier paced the back line with 20 digs. Ruffer added 16 pickups, while seniors Hailey Phillips (Malinta/Patrick Henry) and Lindsay Krohn (Marysville, Ind./New Washington) also went for double digits in digs with 13 and 11, respectively. Ruffer fired three service aces in the victory, while McFarlin and Roth tallied two each.
The Beavers can now enjoy Homecoming weekend at Bluffton before they return to the Sommer Center for a battle with Anderson University on Wednesday, Oct. 16. The match is slated to start at 7 p.m.