Bluffton falters at OWU Invitational, preps for HCAC actionBy Tim Stried
September 30, 2002
After dropping four matches at the Ohio Wesleyan Invitational last weekend, the Bluffton College volleyball team must regroup as the 2002 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference schedule gets underway.
The Beavers have the luxury of playing their first three HCAC matches all at home, which includes Oct. 1 against Defiance (7:30 p.m.), Oct. 5 against Transylvania (1 p.m.) and Oct. 8 against Manchester (7:30 p.m.).
Bluffton had won five of their last eight matches heading into the OWU tournament, but the Beavers found the going a bit tough as they fell in all four matches to see their season record drop to 8-15 on the season.
In the opening match Friday in Delaware, Bluffton fell to Otterbein in four games (24-30, 28-30, 30-27, 28-30) despite a team-high 23 digs from sophomore Kelly Kettinger, which tied her career high. Freshman Keri Kuhlman had a team-high 10 kills and collected a career-high five solo blocks and nine total blocks.
Anderson University handed Bluffton a three-game loss (22-30, 21-30, 28-30) to begin the action on Saturday. Sophomores Erin Kreim and Courtney Tisher led Bluffton with eight kills each and posted the two highest dig totals with 21 and 14, respectively. Freshman Leslie Overmyer served a career-high five aces and junior Erin Cooper notched 18 assists.
In the second game Saturday, Bluffton won the first game against Westminster 30-21 but came up a bit short in the next three games (28-30, 19-30, 26-30). Kuhlman led BC with 13 kills and Tisher had six total blocks, while Cooper and Overmyer both collected 17 assists. Kreim totaled 27 digs.
In the final match Saturday host Ohio Wesleyan posted a three-game win over Bluffton (30-32, 23-30, 24-30) to avenge a loss to the Beavers in Founders Hall on Sept. 18. Kreim, Tisher and sophomore Jill Rothe all posted seven kills and Cooper tallied 21 assists.
For the season, team leaders include Tisher in kills (217) and hitting percentage (.262), Cooper in assists (409), Weldy in aces (56), Kreim in digs (357) and Kuhlman in blocks (53).