Bluffton at Defiance Invitational
Bluffton opens Defiance Invitational with pair of wins
Sept. 12, 2008
DEFIANCE, Ohio - The Bluffton University volleyball team improved to 9-3 on the season with a pair of victories in day one of the Defiance Invitational on Friday, Sept. 12, 2008. Bluffton swept the Indiana Tech junior varsity in three sets (25-13, 25-11, 25-19) using a multitude of player combinations to start the tournament. The Beavers followed that with a five-set thriller over Albion College in a match that had as many zigs as it did zags (25-15, 26-28, 28-26, 20-25, 16-14).
Sophomore right side hitter Allison Streicher (Continental/Continental) had her way against Indiana Tech, pounding eight kills with only one error for a gargantuan .700 hitting percentage. Also providing punch at the net was freshman Christiana Sindelar (Napoleon/Napoleon) who knocked down six kills.
Defensively, Brittany Roth (Findlay/Findlay) picked up a team-high six digs. Sophomore setter Shauna Rowland (Bucyrus/Wynford) paced Bluffton with 17 assists while freshman Morgan Hicks (Convoy/Crestview) added eight assists and three service aces.
Bluffton took care of business at the net against Albion of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in the second match of the afternoon. The Beavers finished with four or fewer hitting errors in each set against the Britons and they had one of their finest showings in the blocking department, tallying four solos and 10 total team blocks.
Junior Michele Rosen (Harrison/Harrison) led Bluffton with 17 kills for a .224 hitting percentage. Pounding 15 kills while committing just three errors was freshman Jenna Eshleman (Landisville, Penn./Hempfield). Completing one of her best days as a Beaver, Streicher racked up 11 kills, had six assists and finished with two block assists. Sindelar helped the Bluffton cause with seven kills, two solo blocks and three block assists. Heather Rodman (Mansfield/Mansfield Christian) stuffed the Britons with a solo and three block assists.
Bluffton placed five players in double digits for digs against Albion, led by Brittany Roth who paced the Beavers with 40. Rowland who finished with 43 assists, picked up 23 digs while Eshleman added 21 for her fourth double-double of the season. Rowland's double-double marked the fourth time she accomplished the feat this year. Briana Rapp (West Jefferson/Jonathon Alder) and Morgan Hicks chipped in with 12 and 10 digs, respectively. Hicks again did her damage at the service line, firing four aces.
The Beavers return to action on Saturday, Sept. 13, when they match up with 2007 tournament champion Huntington in day two of the Defiance Invitational. The match is slated to start at 11 a.m.