Bluffton 3, Defiance 0
Bluffton moves into HCAC semi-finals with 3-0 win over Jackets
November 1, 2011
By: Meghan Mohr, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Beavers came out on fire the second time around against Defiance College on Tuesday, Nov. 1, sweeping their long-time rivals 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-19). Bluffton advanced to the Heartland Conference semi-finals for the fourth consecutive year with its second Founders Hall victory over Defiance in the past week.
The Beavers improved to 21-10 overall while Defiance wrapped up its 2011 campaign with a 14-16 mark. The Bluffton seniors finished with an unblemished 6-0 record against Defiance. Hanover College will be the site of Bluffton's rematch with Mount St. Joseph this Saturday, Nov. 5. The host Lions fought off numerous Bluffton match points to defeat the visitors in five sets back on September 21.
Of course the senior trio was once again a force to be reckoned with as they accounted for 34 of the Beavers' 45 kills. Jenna Eshleman (Landisville, Penn./Hempfield) was unstoppable with 15 kills and just two errors in a blistering .542 hitting display. Courtney Zimmerman (Leesburg/Fairfield) also had her way with 10 kills while Nicole Wood (Tiffin/Hopewell-Loudon) just missed double digits with nine of her own. Following close behind was junior Brooke Distel (Carey) with five kills.
Sophomore Kyleigh Whitsel (Sheffield Lake/Brookside) handed out 36 assists and picked up seven digs on the night. She also made the difference in the second and third sets with a host of momentum-building hustle plays. Also taking charge for the Beaver defense was junior libero Heather Schierer (Crescent Springs, Ky./St. Henry) with 10 digs. Eshleman and sophomore Lindsay Krohn (Marysville, Ind./New Washington) chipped in with four digs apiece.
Serving it up for the Beavers was senior Meghan Dodson (Tiffin/Calvert) with three aces, followed by two each for Zimmerman and Eshleman. Sophomore Bethany Behnfeldt (Napoleon) stuffed Defiance with a solo block and one block assist, while Eshleman was in on a pair of blocks.
The Beavers head to Hanover College looking to avenge an early-season loss to the College of Mount St. Joseph in the Heartland Conference tournament semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 5. Bluffton's matchup with the #2 seed Lions will follow #5 Rose-Hulman's clash with #1 seed and tournament host Hanover College. The Engineers took down #4 seed Transylvania in five sets at Lexington this evening after trailing 2-0.