Bluffton 3, Defiance 1
Beavers move to HCAC final with 3-1 win over Defiance
November 7, 2009
By: Erin Neal, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - It was an eventful day inside Founders Hall on Saturday, Nov. 8 as the Bluffton University women's volleyball team was busy hosting its first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference post-season tournament. The Beavers earned the right to host after they finished with a flawless 8-0 record in the conference, marking the first time in school history that the Beavers have hosted the conference tournament since joining the HCAC.
The first day of the tournament ended on a positive note for Bluffton as they defeated Defiance College in four sets (25-15, 25-17, 23-25, 25-13). With the win, the Beavers move on to the conference finals where they will meet up with HCAC power Mt. St. Joseph at 1 p.m. on Sunday to battle for the tournament championship and an automatic bid into the NCAA national tournament.
Preceding the Beavers' contest with the Yellow Jackets, the Anderson University Ravens defeated the Hanover College Panthers 3-1 (15-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-19) in the first match of the day. Match two saw the Yellow Jackets of Defiance College take down Rose-Hulman 3-2 (25-20, 25-23, 20-25, 22-25, 15-11). In the semifinal match, the College of Mount St. Joseph defeated Anderson in four sets (20-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-11).
Several Beavers gave stellar efforts in their victory over the Jackets. Sophomore Nicole Wood (Tiffin/Hopewell-Loudon) led all attackers with 12 kills and a .346 hitting percentage on the evening. Sophomore Courtney Zimmerman (Leesburg/Fairfield) followed Wood with 11 kills, while junior opposite hitter Allison Streicher (Continental) and sophomore outside Jenna Eshleman (Landisville, Penn./Hempfield) each had 10 kills apiece. As a team, the Beavers hit .290 for the evening.
Junior setter Shauna Rowland (Bucyrus/Wynford) notched another double-double as she dished out 47 assists and scooped up 10 digs. Senior libero Brittany Roth (Findlay) led all defensive efforts with her 20 digs, while Eshleman just missed a double-double with nine digs. Middle hitter Heather Rodman (Mansfield/Mansfield Christian) dominated at the net as she had four solo blocks and four block assists. The Beavers also got it done on the backline as Rowland, Eshleman, and sophomore Mandi Leemaster (Fremont/Old Fort) each had two service aces, contributing to a total of eight aces by the Beavers.
The Beavers continue their record-breaking season at 1 p.m. Sunday when they take on Mt. St. Joseph in the HCAC tournament championship match in Founders Hall.