Mt. St. Joseph 3, Bluffton 1
Beavers fall to Mt. St. Joseph in four games
October 30, 2007
BLUFFTON, Ohio - A sluggish start in games one and two proved too much to overcome as Mt. St. Joseph improved to 19-16 overall and 7-1 in Heartland Conference action with its fourth straight four-game victory over the Bluffton University volleyball team on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2007. The Beavers fell to 11-19 with a 2-6 mark in the HCAC.
The Mount opened up a 21-10 lead in the opener as the Beavers lacked the energy they displayed a week ago in their three-game victory over Tri-State in Founders Hall. Senior Rachel Alvarez (Convoy/Crestview), playing in front of the home crowd for the last time in her career at Bluffton, served four straight points for the Beavers with MSJ stuck on 29 points, but the Lions capitalized on a Bluffton hitting error to claim game one by a 30-21 count, despite seven kills from freshman standout Kayla Pickering (Jamestown/Greenview) who has already obliterated the freshman kills mark of 270 which was set a year ago by Michele Rosen (Harrison/Harrison). Going into her final match, Pickering ranks fourth in the HCAC with 404 kills.
The Beavers rallied from a 6-0 deficit at the start of game two to tie the match at nine following a Crystal Augsburger (Bowling Green/Bowling Green) kill. From there the Lions went to work and built a 10-point lead, 23-13, as the Bluffton offense went south. Augsburger knocked down a pair of spikes, but it was too little, too late. MSJ scored the final two points to post another 30-21 victory over the home team.
Game three saw Bluffton avoid the early deficits that plagued the Beavers in the first two games. Sophomore Brittany Roth (Findlay/Findlay) racked up four consecutive points at the service line and a Shauna Rowland (Bucyrus/Wynford) ace put Bluffton up 9-3. The Lions clawed their way back into the game and were still tied as late as 24-24 before an Augsburger block and three MSJ errors gave the Beavers a 30-25 win.
Much like game three, the final game went back-and-forth until the Lions rolled off five straight points to take a 26-17 lead over the Beavers. Down 28-20 late in the game, kills by Pickering and Augsburger helped Bluffton move within four points, 29-25, but Anna Richter spoiled Senior Night in Bluffton with her game-ending spike for a 30-25 MSJ victory.
Pickering was outstanding for Bluffton, knocking down a match-high 21 kills and picking up 10 digs for her 15th double-double of the season. She hit .364 on the night. Augsburger rifled 12 kills for a .250 hitting percentage. Freshman Allison Streicher (Continental/Continental) finished with a career-high nine kills and lone senior Rachel Alvarez chipped in with seven kills.
Also recording double-doubles for the Beavers were setters Shauna Rowland and Chelsea Wyse (Archbold/Archbold). Rowland led Bluffton with 36 assists while Wyse chipped in with 17. Rowland, Wyse and Roth all finished with 14 digs while junior Kate Barnett (North Bloomfield/Lakeview) added a dozen. Pickering and Augsburger both stuffed the Lion hitters with three blocks.
The Beavers will wrap up their 2007 campaign when they travel to Adrian, Michigan, to square off with Siena Heights on Thursday, Nov. 1. The match is slated to start at 7 p.m.