Bluffton 3, Transylvania 2
By: Brittany Roth, sports information assistant
November 9, 2013
DEFIANCE, Ohio - After defeating the #3 seed Mount St. Joseph Lions in Cincinnati on Tuesday, the Beavers traveled to Defiance ready to take on Transylvania, the #2 seed of the tournament. With the #1 seed and host Defiance College already dispatched from the tournament thanks to a sweep by Hanover College in the 2 p.m. semifinal, Bluffton made sure that none of the top four seeds will earn the HCAC's automatic berth into the NCAA Regionals next week. The Beavers again rallied from a 2-0 deficit while improving to 15-18 on the season.
Bluffton got the hog's share of its errors out in the lidlifter, allowing Transylvania to dominate the first set by a 25-11 count. The second set was back and forth with 10 tie scores and five lead changes. The Beavers were knotted at 23, but could not close the set out against the Pioneers and lost 25-23.
Not ready to put away the net for 2013, the Beavers bounced back to gain control of the majority of the third set. With the help of a run with Brooke Ruffer (Stryker) at the service line, the Beavers took the lead halfway through and stayed focused to take the third set 25-21.
The fourth set was another battle with 17 tie scores and five lead changes. After a late timeout by Coach Yarnell with the score squared up at 23, Bluffton capped the set with a Lauren Weisgarber (Bolivar/Tuscarawas Valley) kill and a block by Mackenzie McFarlin (Ashland) and Jenny Brown (St. Marys/Memorial) which pushed the match to a fifth-set tiebreaker.
The Beavers took the momentum from the end of the fourth set and carried it over into the fifth set, going on a 5-0 spurt with senior Hailey Phillips (Malinta/Patrick Henry) at the service line. The teams battled for several rotations but another run by Phillips at the end of the set clinched it for the Beavers. Bluffton won the fifth set 15-7 to knock the #2 seed out of the tournament.
Ruffer had a phenomenal night on the court with a career-high 16 kills (.414 hitting percentage), 23 assists, three aces and 11 digs for a triple-double. Also sparking the offense was fellow sophomore Sara Roth (Findlay/Van Buren) with 19 assists. Kendra Parmenter (Grove City) and MacKenzie McFarlin (Ashland) were both in double figures with 13 and 10 kills, respectively. Parmenter also had two solo blocks and four block assists. Lauren Weisgarber matched Ruffer's three aces and also assisted with five blocks for the Beavers. Defensively, Phillips led Bluffton with 18 digs.
The Beavers will return to Defiance to play #5 seed Hanover College in the HCAC Championship Sunday, Nov. 10, at 1 p.m.