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Oct. 20 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany volleyball team (12-12) nearly rallied out of a large deficit for the second consecutive match, but came up on the short end of a 3-2 loss to visiting Saint Vincent (19-8) Tuesday night at Hummel Field House.

The Bison looked to be in control of the first set, as a 6-1 run gave them a 13-8 advantage and they still led 17-12 later in the set. The Bearcats bounced back with eight straight points before a kill from sophomore Nancy Hitt (Export, Pa./Greensburg Central Catholic) ended the SVC surge and turned the tide. Freshman Meredith Holl (Mogadore, Ohio) started a big night with a solo block and kill to put BC back in front 21-20, then posted another kill later in the set, as the Bison grabbed the lead with a 25-22 triumph in the opener.

Saint Vincent came alive after the first set and rolled through the Bison in the next two. After a 25-17 win evened the sets at 1-1, the Bearcats went in front with a 25-12 victory in the third, highlighted by a 13-2 spurt to close it out.

Bethany was in a similar situation in their last match, as they trailed Geneva 2-0 last Thursday before sweeping the final three sets to pull out the surprising win. BC started off well in their quest to push Tuesday’s contest to a tiebreaking set when Holl erupted midway through the set. With the Bison leading 8-7, she hammered consecutive kills, then after a solo block by freshman Jessica Zavatchen (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands), Holl posted her own solo rejection and another kill to give Bethany a 13-7 margin.

The Bearcats answered back by getting within one at 14-13, but two kills from sophomore Alyssa Schrecengost (Wexford, Pa./Vincentian) sparked a quick 5-1 rally that swelled BC’s lead back to 19-14. Although Saint Vincent was able to trim it to 22-20, they would get no closer. A kill by Hitt put Bethany at set point and Holl sent the Bison into their third consecutive five-set outing with a thunderous kill to cap the 25-21 win.

Unfortunately, Bethany was unable to keep up the momentum. Two early putaways by freshman Lauren Goodwill (Canton, Ohio/Jackson) kept the Bison close at 4-3, but SVC reeled off five consecutive points and cruised to the clinching 15-6 win.

The valiant Bison effort was charged by Zavatchen, who amassed 44 assists, 19 digs and two solo blocks. A trio of hitters finished with double digit kills, led by Goodwill with 11 and Holl and Schrecengost with 10 each. Holl also finished with a team-high three solo blocks and Schrecengost registered a double-double by adding in 10 digs.

Another top defensive performance came from sophomore Tiffany Hoffman (Cambridge, Ohio/John Glenn) with 26 digs.

Bethany’s next match will be a big one, as they travel to Waynesburg Thursday night in a crucial PAC match. The Bison swept the Yellow Jackets on Sept. 30 and another victory Thursday would go a long way towards BC clinching a spot in the conference tournament. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.