Bluffton wins three matches at Marcia French
Bluffton moves to 6-2 on year with three wins at Marcia French Invite
September 10, 2011
By: Meghan Mohr, sports information assistant
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Over the weekend the Beavers started out strong, going 3-0 while defeating Thiel, Johns Hopkins and John Carroll before dropping a match to Case Western Reserve in their final contest on Saturday.
Starting with Thiel on Friday, the Beavers dropped a hard fought first set before coming back to win the next three (23-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-16). Leading the Beavers offensively was Nicole Wood (Tiffin/Hopewell-Loudon) with 19 kills, a career-best for the senior. Senior Jenna Eshleman (Landisville, Penn./Hempfield) and junior Heather Schierer (Cresent Springs, Ky./St. Henry) came up with 25 digs apiece. Setter Kyleigh Whitsel (Sheffield Lake/Brookside) dished out 20 assists while Morgan Fullenkamp (Botkins) had 11 helpers.
The second match of the night versus the Blue Jays of Johns Hopkins was a three-set thriller with the Beavers coming out on top (26-24, 25-20, and 25-23). Offensively, the team was lead by senior outsides Wood and Eshleman with 14 kills apiece. Directing the show were setters Fullenkamp and Whitsel with 15 and 20 assists, respectively. Eshleman tore it up in the back court, earning another double-double with 25 digs. Wood and Schierer were both next in line with 13 digs each.
On day two of the Marcia French Memorial Invitational, the Beavers took the Blue Streaks of John Carroll University to the cleaners, taking home a four-set 25-27, 25-14, 25-16, 25-12 victory over JCU. Eshleman showed up big for the Beavers in the first match of the day, posting a double-double with 17 kills, 19 digs and three block assists. This match was a well rounded team effort by the Beavers. Putting away eight kills were Wood and junior Brooke Distel (Carey). Adding six kills were senior Courtney Zimmerman (Leesburg/Fairfield) and sophomore Bethany Behnfeldt (Napoleon). Whitsel chipped in with 17 assists and Fullenkamp tallied 18 assists. On the defensive side, Schierer picked up 19 digs and Zimmerman stuffed JCU with nine block assists. Zimmerman's work at the net over the weekend sent her over the 200 block mark with 211 total blocks for her career.
The Beavers didn't fare as well in their last matchup of the weekend against host Case Western Reserve. Bluffton fell to the Spartans in straight sets (25-11, 25-21, and 25-21). Leading the defensive front were three Beavers, Wood and Eshleman with 14 digs each and Schierer with 19. Eshleman also reached a milestone at Bluffton with career dig 1,000 over the weekend. She currently has 1,062 career digs. Wood put away 16 kills, earning her third double-double of the weekend to go along with All-Tournament honors, while Eshleman had nine kills. The offense went through Fullenkamp who handed out 12 assists and Whitsel who finished with six.
Even though the Beavers couldn't pull out a "W" over the Case Western Reserve Spartans, they still had a fantastic weekend, earning wins over three quality opponents (Thiel, Johns Hopkins, and John Carroll). Bluffton jumps right back into action when the Beavers host Thomas More in their 2011 home opener at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13.