BLUFFTON, Ohio - For the 11th straight season the Bluffton University volleyball team had at least two Beavers named First Team All-Heartland Conference when the post-season awards were doled out. Seniors Bethany Martini (Pickerington/North) and Erin Weisgarber (Bolivar/Tuscarawas Valley) showed out with first team honors following Bluffton's sixth straight trip to the Heartland Conference semi-finals. Also recognized by the Heartland Conference coaches was Brooke Kleman (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) who secured Honorable Mention All-HCAC while being named to the All-Freshman Team.
Martini again led the Heartland Conference with 377 kills and 3.62 kills per set en route to her second straight First Team All-HCAC award. She added another HCAC Player of the Week honor to her resume this year after she helped the Beavers to conference wins over MSJ and Rose-Hulman, giving her three over the past two years. Martini's 3.62 KPS average gives her two of the top four single season marks at Bluffton. They helped Martini push her career KPS average to 3.16, tops in Bluffton University history! She also moved to 10th all-time with 1,133 kills thanks to 840 putaways over the past two seasons. Martini hit .181 with 67 blocks, 54 aces and 642 digs for her career.
Collecting her fourth straight Heartland Conference post-season honor is Erin Weisgarber who was the HCAC Freshman of the Year in 2015 and followed that up with three straight First Team All-HCAC awards! She finished third in the Heartland with 9.36 assists per set which placed her 7th all-time for a single season at Bluffton. Weisgarber helped herself with 191 kills (1.93 KPS) which was third on the team and her .286 hitting percentage was 3rd in the conference. The talented setter was also named to the HCAC All-Tournament Team at Transylvania this season.
A First Team Academic All-America honoree as a junior, Weisgarber took over the top spot on Bluffton's career assist list, finishing her storied career with 4,319 assists while her 9.79 assists per set is nearly one assist per set more than number two on the list. Her .286 attacking percentage this year is 7th on the single season list and her .256 career attacking percentage placed Wesigarber 3rd all-time at Bluffton.
Taking over at libero following the graduation of all-time digs leader Sydney Mohler, Brooke Kleman moved into a starting role quickly and she looked like a seasoned veteran on the way to earning All-Freshman and Honorable Mention recognition from the Heartland Conference. Kleman finished 4th in the HCAC with 5.12 digs per set and 43 service aces. She added 81 assists and 17 kills. Kleman earned HCAC Player of the Week honors after being named to the All-Tournament Team at the Sommer Center Spiketacular.
In conjunction with the All-HCAC selections, the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference also announced the Christopher M. Ragsdale Sportsmanship awards for the fall of 2018. Jessica Lovell (Grove City) was selected to the All-Sportsmanship team from Bluffton. This award has been developed as part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative. Members of the All-HCAC Sportsmanship team are selected by the coaches and their teammates as individuals who demonstrate the ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field/court of competition.
The Beavers have compiled a 257-178 record since Coach Yarnell took the reins in 2005. They have won at least 20 matches six times while going 71-26 in Heartland Conference action since 2008!