#5 Calvin holds off Bluffton
October 16, 2015
By: Samantha Granger, sports information assistant
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Bluffton University volleyball team battled #5 Calvin through three tough sets before pushing #13 Hope College to four sets in the nightcap from Calvin College on Friday, Oct. 16. The Beavers dropped their first matches in exactly one month, while Hope and Calvin showed why they have been NCAA Division III national champions the last two years.
Despite falling down 5-0 thanks to a serve receive that struggled to get the ball to the setter, Bluffton fought back and knotted it at 6-6 and led 11-9 in the opener. A serve that rolled over the net for Calvin turned the momentum back in favor of the Knights as Bluffton again dug a sizable hole (17-11). Abby Rohrbach (New Knoxville) and Sydney Mohler (Lima/Central Catholic) served the Beavers back into the match at 18-18 before three straight Calvin points made the score 21-18. The home crowd powered the Knights to a 25-21 victory in the lidlifter.
Following a 25-12 setback in the second set, Calvin continued to hammer away at the visitors in the capper. The Knights kept their advantage in the 4-6 point range throughout the set en route to a 25-20 victory in the clincher.
MacKenzie McFarlin (Ashland) continued to impress with 13 kills against just three errors to lead the Bluffton offense. Senior captain Jenny Brown (St. Marys/Memorial) ripped nine winners while hitting .333 for the match.
Freshman Erin Weisgarber (Bolivar/Tuscarawas Valley) dished out 26 assists, while Sydney Mohler and Abby Rohrbach picked up 16 and 12 digs, respectively. Brown was in on five blocks for the Beavers.
Bluffton struggled through the first two sets against Hope College, falling 25-12 and 25-13 as the Dutch opened up a 2-0 advantage. Four straight points with Sydney Mohler at the service line gave Bluffton hope as the Beavers opened up a 4-0 lead in set three. Bluffton still controlled the action, going up 12-8 and 14-10 before the Dutch scored seven of the next eight points for a 17-15 lead. Erin Weisgarber then took over on serve and rolled off four straight points to put Bluffton on top 20-17. Hope returned the favor with four points, but the Beavers took advantage of a pair of Erin Helms (Arlington) serves to make the score 23-21. Kendra Parmenter (Grove City) delivered Bluffton the set three victory with her fifth kill of the set.
Jenny Brown had her way with Hope, pounding 15 kills while hitting at a .345 clip. She was also in on five blocks, including two solos. Parmenter and McFarlin added eight and six spikes, respectively. Erin Weisgarber handed out 28 assists and Mohler led the defense with 11 pickups. Rohrbach and Becca Tourney (Columbia City, Ind.) chipped in with eight digs apiece.
The Beavers will suit back up on Saturday for a 12 p.m. matchup with #16 Elmhurst before taking on #11 Carthage at 4 p.m. in their final contest at the Midwest Invitational. Bluffton returns to Heartland Conference action at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 21, when the Beavers travel to Manchester University.