Bluffton 3, Manchester 1
Beavers open HCAC with 3-1 win over Manchester
By: Brandy Bidlack, sports information assistant
Sept. 24, 2008
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University volleyball team knocked off conference rival Manchester in their first HCAC showdown of the 2008 campaign. The Beavers improved to 11-5 on the season and 1-0 in the HCAC, while the Spartans fell to 10-5 and 1-1 in the HCAC.
Sophomore Allison Streicher (Continental/Continental) got the Beavers rolling with a kill on the first point in the lidlifter. Bluffton used solid passing and good defense to take the first set by a score of 25-21.
A 5-0 lead by Manchester propelled the visitors to a 25-21 victory in the second set. The Beavers clawed back into the set following the strong serving of freshman Jenna Eshleman (Landisville, Penn./Hempfield), but another 5-0 spurt by the Spartans with Tiffany Moore at the service line knotted the contest at one set each.
With the third set tied at nine points, Bluffton went to work at the net. A pair of Bluffton blocks and two kills by Streicher sealed the 25-18 victory for the Beavers in the third.
To start off the fourth and final set of the night, junior Michele Rosen (Harrison/Harrison) and Jenna Eshleman each drove home a kill. Bluffton continued its success with a 5-0 run just moments later. Manchester never recovered as Bluffton kept pelting the visitors with tough serves and monster attacks.
Eshleman had 18 kills on the night, along with 14 digs and two serving aces for her fifth double-double of the season. Streicher aggressively attacked the net with 14 kills.
Brittany Roth (Findlay/Findlay) and Shauna Rowland (Bucyrus/Wynford) had 32 and 14 digs, respectively. Rowland's team-high 39 assists and 14 digs added up to her seventh double-double of the season. Morgan Hicks (Convoy/Crestview) added three service aces for the Beavers, while teammate Christiana Sindelar (Napoleon/Napoleon) stood tall with three block assists on the night.
The 11 victories thus far in 2008 matches the number of wins for the Beavers last season and it is just one off Coach Yarnell's career-best of 12 that Bluffton ended the 2005 campaign with.
Bluffton will seek its second straight Heartland Conference victory when the Beavers travel to Anderson on Wednesday, October 1. The contest is slated to start at 7 p.m.