Anderson 3, Bluffton 1
Bluffton battles before falling to Anderson in four games
October 16, 2007
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University volleyball team took Heartland Conference power Anderson University to four games, but the Ravens blocking proved to be the difference as the Beavers fell to 10-15 overall and 2-3 in the Heartland Conference. An injury to two-year starter Michele Rosen (Harrison/Harrison) at the Thomas More tournament forced the Beavers to reconfigure their lineup and with five freshmen on the floor for much of the night, Bluffton went toe-to-toe with one of the premier squads in the HCAC before falling 30-28, 15-30, 30-27 and 30-24. The Ravens improved to 14-9 overall and 5-1 in conference action.
An Allison Streicher (Continental/Continental) kill in the opener put the Beavers up by four points, 14-10, early in game one. The Beavers opened up a five-point spread following an Anderson error before the Ravens rallied for six consecutive points to take their first lead, 22-21, since they were up 8-7. The two teams traded scores until the Ravens followed a Rachel Alvarez (Convoy/Crestview) spike with a kill to take the first game by a score of 30-28.
Bluffton jumped all over the visitors in the second game, rolling out to an 8-0 lead over the Ravens with freshman Shauna Rowland (Bucyrus/Wynford) picking Anderson apart from the service line. Freshman Brittany Duff (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) followed suit, using an ace and a Kayla Pickering (Jamestown/Greenview) kill to put the Beavers up 14-2. The Ravens never had a chance in game two as Pickering rifled two more kills late and Rowland put the exclamation point on Bluffton's 30-15 victory over the visitors.
To open game three, Bluffton again had Anderson on the ropes early as Crystal Augsburger (Bowling green/Bowling Green) served seven consecutive points to put the Beavers up 11-6. The Ravens started chipping away at Bluffton's lead with the Beavers up 16-11 and they knotted the game up at 18 with Kate McCollum moving her serves around. Down 27-24, Bluffton traded points with Anderson as the Ravens held on for a 30-27 victory in the third game.
The Beavers again built a 12-8 lead in game four as Kayla Pickering pounded three kills early on. She continued her work at the net with three more kills in the fourth game, but Anderson's hitting and blocking finally took its toll on the home team as Anderson ended the match with a 30-24 victory.
Pickering racked up a team-high 20 kills and added nine digs against the Ravens. Also finishing with double digits in kills were Rowland and Alvarez who knocked down 10 apiece. Junior setter Chelsea Wyse (Archbold/Archbold) found the Bluffton hitters for 23 assists while Duff added 17 assists. Defensively, Brittany Roth (Findlay/Findlay) picked up 21 digs. Rowland added 15 digs for a double-double on the night. Alvarez and Augsburger topped Bluffton with four block assists each.
Bluffton returns to action on Saturday, October 20, 2007, when it travels to Transylvania to lock horns with the Pioneers. The match in Lexington, Kentucky, is slated to start at 12 p.m.