Bluffton vs. Hanover/Otterbein
Beavers snap eight-match skid with victory over Otterbein on Alumni Day
Oct. 1, 2007
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University volleyball team snapped its eight-match losing skid with a four-game win against visiting Otterbein College on Alumni Day. The Beavers dropped their first match of the afternoon to Heartland Conference rival Hanover College (9-7, 1-1 HCAC) and went down 30-20 in the opening game to the Cardinals (3-17) before they regrouped to sweep the next three games in improving to 7-9 on the season.
Bluffton used six Kayla Pickering (Jamestown/Greenview) kills in the lidlifter to take game one from the Panthers, 32-30. In game two, Hanover built a 23-16 lead before Chelsea Wyse (Archbold/Archbold) served five straight points to cut the deficit to a point, 28-27. The Panthers forced a side out and served the final point for a 30-27 victory which evened the match at one game apiece. The Beavers struggled in games three and four, going down 30-21 and 30-20 as the Panthers improved to 1-1 in HCAC action while Bluffton dropped to 0-2 in the Heartland Conference.
Pickering led Bluffton with 14 kills for a .243 hitting percentage. She also picked up 12 digs for her first of two double-doubles on the afternoon. Senior hitter Rachel Alvarez (Convoy/Crestview) also finished with double-digit kills, pounding a dozen. Freshman Shauna Rowland (Bucyrus/Wynford) paced the Beavers with 18 assists while Wyse chipped in with 14. Wyse also ripped a team-high five service aces. Sophomore libero Brittany Roth (Findlay/Findlay) tallied 23 digs and junior Kate Barnett (North Bloomfield/Lakeview) added 10 in the loss to the Panthers.
In the Alumni Day nightcap, Otterbein took the early lead and put Bluffton away 30-20 to open the match. The remainder of the day belonged to the home team as Bluffton took the final three games by scores of 30-26, 32-30 and 30-22.
Pickering put together another typically outstanding performance, ramming home 19 kills on only four errors for a .375 hitting percentage. She also finished with 20 digs for her seventh double-double of the season. Michele Rosen (Harrison/Harrison) knocked down 10 kills for the Beavers. Rowland finished with a team-high 22 assists while freshman Brittany Duff (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) chipped in with 17. Wyse and Rowland tallied 22 and 14 digs, respectively.
The Beavers return to action on Wednesday, Oct. 3, when they host Taylor University. The match is slated to start at 7 p.m. in Founders Hall.