Oct. 11 - GREENVILLE, Pa. – The Bethany College volleyball team moved back into second place in the PAC and gained a season sweep over a key conference rival with a 3-1 victory (25-23, 24-26, 25-18, 25-17) at Thiel Thursday night.
The opening set between the teams was close throughout, with neither side holding larger than a three-point lead. The Bison (21-5, 10-2) trailed 20-18, but scored seven of the final 10 points in the set to take the 25-23 victory. In the second, BC looked like it was in position for a 2-0 lead after building a 23-19 advantage. But the Tomcats (14-6, 8-2) closed with a flurry, ripping off a 7-1 surge to take the set and even the match at 1-1.
The home team took a quick 6-2 lead to begin the third set, but Bethany had a big answer. Two aces from freshman Julia Mouch (Toledo, Ohio/Sylvania Southview) and one from senior Taylor Cassidy (Barboursville, W.Va./Cabell Midland) helped ignite a 9-1 BC run. The Green and White lead grew to 22-14 and kills by sophomores Jordan Fenner (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville North) and Breana Harris (Severn, Md./Old Mill) helped close out the 25-18 win to lift Bethany to a 2-1 lead.
Another Bison run in the middle of the fourth set turned the tide and helped clinch the win for Bethany. Trailing by one, BC scored seven straight to take a comfortable 14-8 lead. Senior Lauren Goodwill (Canton, Ohio/Jackson) started the push with a kill, Cassidy put away three in a row and sophomore Kelly Becquet (Finleyville, Pa./Ringgold) closed the run with an ace. Bethany then matched Thiel point for point the rest of way and finished the match off with an ace from senior Katie Kurtz (Charleroi, Pa.) and two kills from Cassidy.
Pacing Bethany to its second win over the Tomcats this season was Cassidy, who notched 24 kills, which gives her 1,095 in her career as she went past Vicki Hill (1,087) for fourth place on the all-time kills list at the school. Goodwill also had a nice night at the net with 12 kills and Harris tallied double digits with 10.
Senior setter Jessica Zavatchen (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) registered a big night with 47 assists and 17 digs. Leading the team in digs from the back row was Becquet with 23, while Mouch brought up 15 and also served three aces.
The Bison don’t get a lot of time to enjoy the big win, as they return to action Saturday for their final two regular season home matches of the season. After honoring its five seniors beforehand, Bethany will host Waynesburg at 11 a.m. And then at 2 p.m., BC will host Thomas More (17-4), who leads the conference with a perfect 10-0 record and the Saints are the only team in the conference to defeat the Bison this season.