Bluffton 3, Rose-Hulman 2
November 5, 2016
By: Samantha Granger, sports information assistant
HANOVER, Ind. - The Bluffton University volleyball team showed its mettle with a five-set victory in a heavyweight battle with Rose-Hulman on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. Bluffton improved to 22-8 and will move into the HCAC title contest with host and #1 seed Hanover, while Rose-Hulman finished its season with a 15-17 mark.
With three of the first four sets going into free volleyball with identical 26-24 scores, it all came down to a fifth set with the season on the line for both teams. Bluffton led 14-9 following a Becca Tourney (Columbia City, Ind.) ace before the Engineers rolled off three straight points, forcing Coach Yarnell to call a timeout. Erin Weisgarber (Bolivar/Tuscarawas Valley) connected with older sister Lauren Weisgarber (Bolivar/Tuscarawas Valley) and a rematch of the 2015 HCAC title tilt was forged as the Beavers moved on with a 15-12 victory.
Bluffton advanced to the championship match against Hanover College, the regular season champion and host, at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6. The Panthers defeated Manchester University in the other semifinal contest, 3-0, prior to the Beaver win.
The offense was directed by Erin Weisgarber who dished out 57 assists and chipped in five kills and 17 digs. MACKENZIE MCFARLIN (Ashland) led the spikers with a career-high 27 kills while hitting .236 for the match. Fellow senior Lauren Weisgarber followed with 19 kills, also a career-high, and an outstanding .381 hitting percentage. Sophomore BETHANY MARTINI (Pickerington/North) made it three career-highs for the Bluffton front line with 18 kills for the victors!
ABBY ROHRBACH (New Knoxville) and Becca Tourney both got in on the career-high action with 22 and 20 digs, respectively. Rohrbach and Tourney also fired aces against the Engineers. Junior libero Sydney Mohler (Lima/Central Catholic) picked up a match-high 30 digs, while Courtney Zimpfer (Jackson Center) helped the cause with 11 pickups, making it five in double figures for the Beavers.
Bluffton will now play #1 seed and tournament host Hanover College for the Heartland Conference title and automatic berth in next week's NCAA Regional Tournament. It marks the sixth time in eight seasons that the Beavers have advanced to the HCAC championship game, including tournament titles in 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2015. The Sunday afternoon showdown is set for 1 p.m. and it features a re-match of the 2015 finals when Bluffton, as the #2 seed, took down #1 seed Hanover at Hanover!