Mount St. Joseph 3, Bluffton 2
MSJ pulls out five-set thriller over Bluffton
September 21, 2011
By: Meghan Mohr, sports information assistant
CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Bluffton Beavers lost a nail-biting five-set match against the Lions of Mount St. Joseph on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011 (25-17, 18-25, 22-25, 27-25, 19-17). The Lions out hit and out dug the Beavers with 62 kills and 89 digs over the Beavers 42 kills and 77 digs. Bluffton is now 6-7 (0-1 HCAC). The Lions improved to 3-10 overall and 1-0 in the conference.
Starting off slow in the first set, the Beavers couldn't quite gain the momentum they needed to put a string of points together with only four paltry kills in a 25-17 loss. The second set, however, was a different story. Adding 10 kills and 14 digs, the Beavers were right back in the match. With 14 spikes and 13 digs in the third, along with a set-finishing block by Courtney Zimmerman (Leesburg/Fairfield), the Beavers were up 2-1 going into set four. It was a back-and-forth battle between the Lions and the Beavers, ultimately ending with MSJ on top by a 27-25 score. Set five was no different. The Beavers had three chances at match point, but couldn't pull it off. With a couple of untimely errors, the Beavers dropped the fifth and final set to the Lions 19-17.
Leading the Beavers at the net were Seniors Nicole Wood (Tiffin/Hopewell-Loudon) and Jenna Eshleman (Landisville, Penn./Hempfield) with 13 and 12 kills, respectively. Sophomore Kyleigh Whitsel (Sheffield Lake/Brookside) dished out 16 assists and Freshman Morgan Fullenkamp (Botkins) put up 15.
This was definitely a defensive game with five Beavers in double digit digs. Whitsel picked up 12 and Wood tallied 14. Junior Heather Schierer (Crescent Springs, Ky./St. Henry) racked up a team-high 20 digs. Eshleman and Fullenkamp both chipped in with 12. Sophomore Bethany Behnfeldt (Napoleon) added one solo block and five block assists while junior Brooke Distel (Carey) and Wood tallied three block assists each.
Next, the Beavers head to Ohio Northern for the OAC/HCAC Challenge. Bluffton will take on Muskingum and Capital on Friday followed by Baldwin-Wallace and the host Polar Bears on day two.