BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University volleyball team overcame Mount St. Joseph and injuries to stay perfect in the Heartland Conference with a five-set victory in the Sommer Center on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. Bluffton improved to 10-9 on the season and 2-0 in the HCAC, while MSJ fell to 6-11 and 0-2 in the conference.
Bluffton was already under siege in the third set when four-year starting setter Erin Weisgarber (Bolivar, Ohio) went down with an injury that sidelined her for the remainder of the night. She had already racked up 33 assists against the Lions, leaving her at 3,999 for her career! With freshman Maddie White (Ashland) and sophomore Chelsey Taylor (Hicksville) taking over the reins, Bluffton scratched and clawed to a 25-21 win in set four before closing out the match with a 15-13 victory in the clincher. Point 14 in the finale saw senior Bethany Martini (Pickerington/North) ram home career kill number 1,000, moving her to 16th all-time at Bluffton!
Career highs were the flavor of the night as the Beavers took advantage of contributions from all corners of the court. Martini's 28 kills equaled her career best, while Jessie Gibson (Warsaw/River View) and Jessica Lovell (Grove City) shattered their all-time marks with 17 and 10 kills, respectively! Gibson was in on five blocks while freshman Kayla Ferguson (Pandora/Pandora-Gilboa) put up career bests with three kills and three blocks.
The Beavers put six women in double figures for digs, led by 30 from freshman Brooke Kleman (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf). Senior Abby Rohrbach (New Knoxville) picked up 18 while Courtney Zimpfer (Jackson Center), White and Martini all checked in with 11. Weisgarber tallied 14 digs to go along her 33 assists in just under three sets of work. Rohrbach and Kleman both rifled three assists, while White doled out a career-high 20 helpers.
Bluffton is back in the Sommer Center on Saturday, Oct. 6 when the Beavers welcome Rose-Hulman and national power Hope College for a top-flight tri-match! The battle for HCAC supremacy with Rose-Hulman is slated for 2 p.m. with the Bluffton-Hope matchup tentatively slated for 6 p.m. following Rose-Hulman vs. Hope. Come out and support your Beavers!