Head Coach Steve Yarnell tabbed HCAC Coach of the Year
November 16, 2009
By: Brandy Bidlack and Evan Miller, sports information assistants
Click here for Heartland Conference release
BLUFFTON, Ohio - Junior Shauna Rowland (Bucyrus/Wynford), senior Brittany Roth (Findlay), and sophomores Jenna Eshleman (Landisville, Penn./Hempfield) and Nicole Wood (Tiffin/Hopewell-Louden) were all named first team All-Heartland Collegiate Athletic
Conference for the 2009 season.
Rowland, the Beavers' first ever volleyball Most Valuable Player in the HCAC, was
honored by the Heartland Conference coaches following a season in which she distributed
1,224 assists for a 10.55 assists per game average. She also made her mark defensively
with 370 digs (3.19 dpg), the second highest total for Bluffton behind senior libero
Brittany Roth. Rowland finished the year with 82 kills, 27 service aces and 47 total
blocks. She has 2,648 career assists and 44 career double-doubles, including a team-high
20 in 2009. Her 2,648 assists place Rowland third on the all-time list at Bluffton.
Rowland has risen to first in both assists per set in a season (10.55) as well as
assists per set in her career with 8.49 assists.
Senior libero Brittany Roth tallied 530 digs (4.65 dpg) during the 2009 campaign.
Roth added 18 assists, 16 service aces, and seven kills for the Beavers this year.
She made the Bluffton digs per set list for the fourth consecutive year. In addition,
Roth climbed to fourth on the digs per set in her career with a dpg of 4.65. She finished
her career with 2,108 digs, giving her the Bluffton record for most digs in a career
after she surpassed Casey May this season.
Sophomore standout Jenna Eshleman paced the Bluffton hitters with a team-high 384
kills (3.37 kpg) in her second season as a Beaver. Her .250 hitting percentage was
also in the top three for the Bluffton front-liners. Eshleman showed her all-around
versatility with 358 digs (3.14) per game, the third-best total for the Beavers. She
smoked 24 aces and totaled 45 blocks at the net. Eshleman was named the HCAC Tournament
Most Valuable Player for her efforts in helping the Beavers qualify for the NCAA Regionals.
Nicole Wood, one of Bluffton's power hitters and strong blockers, was named first
team All-HCAC with a .252 hitting percentage. Wood crushed the ball for 309 kills
(2.94 kpg) this season as well as being in the top three for the Beavers in blocks
with 51 stops at the net. She also tallied 51 digs and four assists for Bluffton.
Wood was one of two Beavers to earn Heartland Player of the Week honors this season
along with HCAC MVP Shauna Rowland who collected the award after leading Bluffton
to wins over Mount St. Joseph and Hanover.
In addition to the All-Heartland Conference honors that went to the upperclassmen,
Bluffton freshman Brooke Distel (Carey) was named to the 2009 HCAC All-Freshman Team. Distel finished with 54 kills
and 42 blocks, as well as 19 digs this season.
Bluffton University Head Coach Steve Yarnell, who guided the Beavers to their first
HCAC title this season, was named the 2009 Heartland Conference Volleyball Coach of
the Year. He led Bluffton to its first ever HCAC tournament championship and a berth
into the NCAA Division III national tournament. Yarnell guided the Beavers to a 27-6
mark this season, including 17 straight victories before a setback at the hands of
#5 Ohio Northern in the first round of the NCAA Regionals at Hope College.
The Beavers (27-6, 8-0 HCAC) wrapped up their best campaign since joining the Heartland
Conference. Full statistics and information on the 2009 volleyball season are available
online at www.blufftonbeavers.com/volleyball.