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BETHANY KNOCKS OFF SAINT VINCENT TO STAY UNBEATEN AT HOME
Oct. 14 - BETHANY, W.Va. – Junior Carrie Talkington (Moundsville, W.Va./John Marshall) hammered a career-high 17 kills to lead the Bethany College volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-23, 28-26, 20-25, 25-13) victory over visiting Saint Vincent Thursday night at Hummel Field House.
The victory upped the Bison’s record to 18-6 overall and 7-4 in the PAC, while the Bearcats dropped to 18-7 and 7-4. It was also Bethany’s first-ever victory over Saint Vincent in 13 all-time meetings between the schools and kept the Green and White undefeated at home this year (7-0).
The Bison trailed for nearly all of the first set until a late run gave them the early advantage. Saint Vincent led 18-16 when a kill from sophomore Lauren Goodwill (Canton, Ohio/Jackson) started a BC surge, as they scored five of the next six points to take a 21-19 lead. Bethany’s hitters up front put the set away from there, as solo kills by sophomores Meredith Holl (Mogadore, Ohio) and Taylor Cassidy (Barboursville, W.Va./Cabell Midland) were followed by a pair of kills from Talkington for the final points.
The second set would come down to the wire as well. Two kills each from Goodwill and Talkington sparked BC to an early 11-5 margin, but the Bearcats rallied and were serving for the match at 24-23. The Bison staved off the visitors with a kill by Goodwill and two putaways from Cassidy gave Bethany two set points. Saint Vincent would fend those off, but the Bison finally put two points together to score the 28-26 win and move within a set of victory.
The Bearcats responded to the 2-0 deficit with a strong third set. After taking a 6-1 advantage to open the set, they never let BC get any closer than three points the rest of the way and Saint Vincent kept the match going with a 25-20 win.
The fourth set had the appearances of another tight one, as the teams exchanged points until Saint Vincent scored three straight to take a 9-6 lead. It would be their final advantage of the evening, as the Bison ripped off 12 consecutive points to seize control. Junior Tiffany Hoffman (Cambridge, Ohio/John Glenn) served a pair of aces to ignite the rally, which was aided by a pair of kills from Cassidy to help Bethany’s lead expand to 18-9.
After Saint Vincent finally broke the string with a point, a kill from Talkington was followed by three straight from junior Jessica Cole (Connellsville, Pa.) to ensure momentum stayed on BC’s side. Holl secured the 3-1 win with her ninth kill of the night for the final point and Bethany moved into a tie with Saint Vincent for fourth place in the PAC, just a half-game behind Westminster (7-3) and one behind Thiel (7-2) in the conference standings.
Junior Jessica Zavatchen (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) keyed the Bethany offense by passing out 45 assists and was a big help on defense as well with 18 digs and two blocks. Her sets were spaced out well among the hitters, although Talkington did the most damage with a career-high 17 kills. Cole pounded down 10 kills and made it a double-double with 14 digs, while Holl and Cassidy each had nine kills and Goodwill posted eight.
In addition to serving a team-best three aces, Tiffany Hoffman spearheaded the back row efforts with 27 digs.
The Bison will now step out of conference play for the weekend, as they travel to Defiance (Ohio) College for a quad-match over the weekend. They start play Saturday with tilts against Adrian at 11 a.m. and Transylvania at 1 p.m. before concluding the trip Sunday against Hanover at 1 p.m. and Defiance at 3 p.m.