Beavers sweep Earlham and Mount Union
Bluffton improves to 3-1 in HCAC with sweep of Earlham
October 8, 2011
By: Meghan Mohr, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - For the first match of the afternoon on Saturday, Oct. 8, the Beavers took on the Heartland Conference foe Earlham College in Founders Hall. Taking a 3-0 sweep over the Quakers (25-11, 25-20, 25-20), all 21 Beavers in uniform were able to see action in the match.
Senior Nicole Wood (Tiffin/Hopewell-Loudon) came up huge for the Beavers, putting away 18 kills. Fellow seniors Courtney Zimmerman (Leesburg/Fairfield) and Jenna Eshleman (Landisville, Penn./Hempfield) pounded six and five kills, respectively. Freshmen Ashley Litwiller (Hopedale, Ill./Olympia) and Amber Saddler (Elida) along with sophomore Bethany Behnfeldt (Napoleon) all tallied three kills apiece. Senior Lauren Morrow (Marion/River Valley) and junior Brooke Distal (Carey) both slammed two kills each, while sophomores Alicia Wood (Cleveland Heights) and Hailey Phillips (Malinta/Patrick Henry) added a spike apiece.
Setting up the offense was sophomore Kyleigh Whitsel (Sheffield Lake/Brookside) with 33 assists. Defensively, junior libero Heather Schierer (Crescent Springs, Ky./St. Henry) picked up 11 digs, while Whitsel finished with 10. Hailey Phillips and Nicole Wood chipped in with six and four digs, respectively. At the net, both Behnfeldt and Zimmerman stuffed two balls for block assists.
The second match of the weekend was a battle of purple, when the Beavers faced the Raiders of Mount Union. The home team came out strong in set one and was unstoppable the rest of the match, leading in every statistical category. The Beavers capped their second 3-0 sweep (25-22, 25-22, 25-23) of the afternoon, dispatching yet another Ohio Athletic Conference squad.
The trio of seniors led the team offensively with 12 kills for Wood and 10 kills apiece for Eshleman and Zimmerman. Behnfeldt added five kills to the Beaver attack. Whitsel distributed helpers to the tune of 40 assists.
The Beaver defense was on tonight with three players putting up double-digit numbers for digs. Schierer had a whopping 22 digs, while sophomores Lindsay Krohn (Marysville, Ind./New Washington) and Whitsel added 12 and 10 digs, respectively. At the net, Zimmerman dominated with four blocks. Distal tallied two blocks and Behnfeldt one for the victors.
Bluffton rifled six aces in the match with Philips (two) leading the way. Whitsel, Eshleman, Zimmerman and Freshman Melissa Wichie (Brunswick) all air-mailed one ace each.
The Beavers are now 14-8 (3-1 HCAC). The next match for Bluffton is Tuesday, Oct. 11, against the Battling Bishops on the campus of Ohio Wesleyan University.