#6 Wittenberg 3, Bluffton 1
November 13, 2015
By: Samantha Granger, sports information assistant
HUNTINGDON, Penn. - The Bluffton University volleyball team traveled to Huntingdon, Penn., for their third straight trip to the NCAA Regionals, but in the end #6 Wittenberg had too many weapons as the Tigers moved into round two with a four-set victory over the Beavers. Bluffton wrapped up its season with a 19-13 mark, while Wittenberg improved to 25-2 and will face Heidelberg in the regional semi-finals on Saturday afternoon.
Bluffton trailed 17-12 in the lidlifter before junior captain MacKenzie McFarlin (Ashland) and Abby Rohrbach (New Knoxville) turned it completely around with their work from the service line. McFarlin served five straight times, prompting Wittenberg to use both of its timeouts as the Beavers pulled even at 17-17. Rohrbach followed a Wittenberg service error with six straight points as Bluffton went up 24-18. A block by senior Jenny Brown (St. Marys/Memorial) and Erin Weisgarber (Bolivar/Tuscarawas) gave the Beavers their first victory in a set at regionals since 2009 when Bluffton won the first set over Ohio Northern at Hope College.
Head Coach Paco Labrador had a message for his Tigers following the Bluffton victory and it was well received by a Wittenberg team that rolled to 25-12 and 25-8 wins for a 2-1 advantage. The fourth set went back-and-forth much of the way until the Tigers broke a 16-16 tie with six straight counters for a 22-16 spread. Consecutive McFarlin kills trimmed the deficit to four but Wittenberg closed out the match with a 25-20 win in set four, ending Bluffton's season in the process.
The Beavers were led by senior KENDRA PARMENTER (Grove City) with 13 kills on the night, giving her a Bluffton record 1,501 career kills! Junior MacKenzie McFarlin chipped in eight kills for the match. LAUREN WEISGARBER (Bolivar/Tuscarawas Valley), Jenny Brown and JESSIE GIBSON (Warsaw/ Riverview) all finished with five kills for the Beavers.
Freshman Erin Weisgarber paced the offense with 28 assists and seven digs. Abby Rohrbach led the defense with 12 digs while SYDNEY MOHLER (Lima/Central Catholic) followed with 11 pickups. Brown and Lauren Weisgarber both finished with two block assists.
The Beavers capped off a great season with their third NCAA Regional appearance in as many years despite a youthful squad that has the talent and experience to help lead the team to another great campaign in 2016! Bluffton will miss seniors Kendra Parmenter and Jenny Brown who captivated Beaver fans for the past four seasons while making indelible marks in the record books. They have been an outstanding duo and we thank them and their families for their hard work and dedication to Bluffton University and the volleyball program!