Bluffton opens season with win at Haverford
Senior hitters pace Beavers in 2011 lidlifter
Sept. 3, 2011
By: Meghan Mohr, sports information assistant
HAVERFORD, Penn. - Opening up their season at the Haverford College Tournament on Saturday, September 3, 2011, the Bluffton University volleyball team rallied for a win against Haverford in four sets (20-25, 25-23, 25-23, 27-25) and dropped a three-setter against #4 nationally ranked Christopher Newport (25-17, 25-14, 25-16) later in the day.
Sporting some fresh faces in the lineup, the Beavers started out down 20-13 in the first set. Even though they led in every statistical category, the Beavers fell short by a 25-20 score in set one.
Powering Bluffton to a strong start in set two were a trio of Beavers. Kills by Courtney Zimmerman (Leesburg/Fairfield), Jenna Eshleman (Landisville, Penn./Hempfield) and Bethany Behnfeldt (Napoleon) gave Bluffton some breathing room. From there it was a back and fourth game between the Beavers and the Fords. A kill by senior Nicole Wood (Tiffin/Hopewell-Loudon) and an error by Haverford's Olivia Coburn-Flynn gave the Beavers set two by a final score of 25-23.
Sets three and four started and finished much like the second set for the Beavers, giving them a 3-1 victory over the host Fords. Offensive leaders were seniors Jenna Eshleman and Nicole Wood with 15 kills apiece, followed by senior Courtney Zimmerman with 13 spikes. Newcomer Kyleigh Whitsel (Sheffield Lake/Brookside) led the team in assists with 41 followed by freshman Morgan Fullenkamp (Botkins) with 10 helpers. Defensively, junior Heather Schierer (Crescent Springs, Ky./St. Henry) led the team with 18 digs while Jenna Eshleman picked up 13 digs. Junior Brooke Distel (Carey) rounded out the defense with one solo block and three block assists.
The Beavers took on the Captains of Christopher Newport in their second match of the day. The heat and slickness of the floor seemed to put a damper on both team's plans, but Newport overcame those obstacles in a 3-0 victory against the Beavers.
Leading the Beavers' offensive game were seniors Wood and Eshleman with eight and seven kills, respectively. Whitsel handed out 22 assists for the Beavers while Schierer collected 14 digs. Courtney Zimmerman added four block assists to the mix for Bluffton.
The Beavers jump back into action when they face Susquehanna at 2 p.m. and Frostburg at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 4 at Haverford College.