Beavers finish 1-4 against strong field at the Wooster Tournament
September 11, 2006
WOOSTER, Ohio - Although the Bluffton University volleyball team (4-6, 0-0 HCAC) finished 1-4 at the Kilt Classic, the Beavers had a solid weekend on the court. Bluffton played host College of Wooster, a 2005 NCAA Tournament team that finished 25-7 in 2005, on Friday evening and lost in four games, 22-30, 20-30, 34-32, 23-30. Bluffton was led offensively by freshmen hitters Michele Rosen (Harrison/Harrison), Jordan Scifres (Greenwood, Ind./Lutheran), and Anna Viars (Lebanon/Lebanon), who had 13, 12 and 10 kills respectively. Setters Brittany Shultz (Hudson, Ind./Prairie Heights) and Chelsea Wyse (Archbold/Archbold) paced the offense with 27 and 20 assists. In the backcourt, the Beavers were led in digs by libero Brittany Roth (Findlay/Findlay) who finished with 20 and Scifres who tallied 10.
In the nightcap, the Beavers faced eventual tournament champion Malone, and lost in three games, 25-30, 25-30, 28-30. Bluffton was again led offensively by Rosen who tallied 12 kills and hit .400 for the match. Shultz totaled 27 assists and Scifres ripped six service aces to go with her 12 digs. Roth led the Beavers with 20 digs while senior Katie Moore (Bucyrus/Wynford) added nine digs of her own.
On Saturday, a rough start by Bluffton led to a quick Roberts Wesleyan University victory by scores of 11-30, 26-30, 20-30. Audra Coleman (Lima/Central Catholic) and Rachel Alvarez (Convoy/Crestview) each totaled five kills in the loss while Shultz added 13 assists. Roth tallied eight digs in two games of action and Mandy Eicher (Delta/Pike-Delta-York) chipped in with five digs. Viars led the team at the net with three block assists.
In the second match of the day against Saint Vincent's, the Beavers struggled to get things rolling offensively, only hitting .121 as a team in the three-set loss (18-30, 23-30, 28-30). Coleman and Rosen led the Beavers with eight kills each, while Scifres and Viars added seven and six kills respectively. Shultz and Wyse combined for a total of 27 assists while Coleman added five block assists at the net and Roth totaled 22 digs.
The Beavers put it together in the final match of the day, beating Waynesburg in a five-game, two and a half hour marathon (30-26, 24-30, 25-30, 31-29, 15-9). Rachel Alvarez led the squad with 15 kills and only one hitting error for an outstanding .359 hitting percentage. Viars added 10 kills and five total blocks en route to a .286 hitting percentage. Shultz ripped four service aces and added 33 assists. Moore chipped in with three service aces and 12 digs. Roth (25), Scifres (17), and Wyse (11) also reached double-digit digs in the victory.
Beavers coach Steve Yarnell took away many positives from the Wooster Tournament despite a 1-4 record and seventh place finish. "We matched up well with the top teams in a strong tournament. Wooster has a nationally-ranked program and Malone won the tournament. Although we are young, our girls pushed both of them and came away believing that they should have won. Playing this high level of competition shows us what we need to work on and prepares us for the battles that we will see in October when we go head-to-head with the talented squads in the Heartland Conference."
The Beaver volleyball team will travel to Lake Erie College on Wednesday, September 13, for a 7 p.m. start with The Storm.