Bluffton 3, Manchester 0
Bluffton cruises past Manchester in three sets
October 14, 2009
By: Erin Neal, sports information assistant
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - The Bluffton University women's volleyball team defeated HCAC foe Manchester College on Wednesday, Oct. 14 in a sweep of the Spartans, 25-9, 25-15, 25-14. With the victory, the Beavers are now in sole possession of the top spot in the Heartland Conference, standing at 4-0 in the conference and 15-5 overall. Manchester slipped to 0-4 in the HCAC and 5-17 on the season.
The Beavers shredded the Spartan defense as they hit .255 on the night. Leading the attackers were sophomore Nicole Wood (Tiffin/Hopewell Loudon) with 12 kills and sophomore Jenna Eshleman (Landisville, Penn./Hempfield) with nine. Middle hitter sophomores Heather Rodman (Mansfield/Mansfield Christian) and Courtney Zimmerman (Leesburg/Fairfield) pounded six kills apiece, and junior Allison Streicher (Continental) added five. Last week's HCAC Player of the Week, Shauna Rowland (Bucyrus/Wynford), directed the Beaver offense with 32 assists.
But it was Bluffton's defense that proved to be the staple in Wednesday night's victory. Rodman tallied up four solo blocks and three block assists, while Eshleman and Zimmerman each had four block assists. Rowland also came away with a solo block and two assists. Directing the backline for the Beavers was senior libero Brittany Roth (Findlay) with 12 digs, which helped her inch closer to becoming Bluffton's all-time digs leader. She was closely followed by a well-rounded cast of defenders; Rowland with nine digs, Streicher and junior Kayla Pickering (Jamestown/Greenview) with eight each, and Eshleman and sophomore Lauren Morrow (Marion/River Valley) with five and three digs, respectively. At the service line, the Beavers pounded down eight service aces against the Spartans.
The Beavers host non-conference opponents Grace College and Otterbein College this Saturday, Oct. 17 in a tri-match. They will take on Grace at 1 p.m. and Otterbein at 5 p.m. in Founders Hall. Bluffton then travels to Cincinnati Christian on Friday, Oct. 23, before they return to conference action when the Beavers take on Transylvania University next Saturday, October 24th.