BETHANY SWEEPS MARYWOOD, WILL HOST ECAC SEMIFINALS & CHAMPIONSHIP
Nov. 9 – BETHANY, W.Va. – In addition to advancing to the ECAC South Region Tournament semifinals with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-11, 25-12) victory over seventh-seeded Marywood Wednesday night, the Bethany College volleyball team (29-6) also broke the single-season school record for wins.
With their 29th victory of the season, BC broke the record originally set in 1987 when that team finished 28-22. The good news continued after the match, as top-seed DeSales was knocked off by fellow PAC member Saint Vincent 3-2. That means Bethany, as the highest remaining seed, will host the ECAC semifinals and championship matches Saturday in Hummel Field House.
In the opening game, the Green and White led 12-9 when two aces from senior Megan Hoffman (Cambridge, Ohio/John Glenn) sparked a string of five straight points and Bethany didn’t look back in closing out the first set 25-14. The Bison would score the first seven points of game two and the Pacers (17-12) did not move closer than five the rest of the way, as BC went up 2-0 with a 25-11 triumph.
The third set was dominated by senior Carrie Talkington (Moundsville, W.Va./John Marshall). The Bison middle blocker, who was named MVP when Bethany won last year’s ECAC crown, had four kills in a quick 5-1 spurt to open the game. With Marywood still within striking distance at 17-11, Talkington put the contest away. In an 8-1 match-closing run, she hammered six kills and posted a solo block to finish off the 25-12 decision and send the Green and White into the semifinals.
Talkington finished the night as the top hitter with 16 kills and only one error in 20 attacks for a .750 hitting percentage. Junior Taylor Cassidy (Barboursville, W.Va./Cabell Midland) also hit double digit kills with 11 and had a .524 hitting percentage. Bethany as a team hit .500 in the victory.
Junior setter Jessica Zavatchen (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) was again the key cog in the Bison attack, passing out 46 assists. In the back row, senior Tiffany Hoffman (Cambridge, Ohio/John Glenn) brought up 20 digs.
For the Pacers, who were making their first ECAC Tournament and played without First Team All-CSAC outside hitter Emily Fillman, setter Alyssa Hartranft posted 16 assists and seven digs and Rachel Tollett amassed 16 digs. Up front, Ashley Zalewski and Erica Krakosky had four kills each.
The semifinal match-ups are set for Saturday, with #2 Bethany taking on third-seeded Swarthmore, who beat Delaware Valley in four games Wednesday. It will be a rematch of last year’s ECAC semifinal match, which BC came back after dropping the first two games to win 3-2. The other semifinal will pit eighth-seeded Saint Vincent, who would fall to the Bison in the title match last year, against #4 Moravian, who swept past Neumann Wednesday to advance. Game times for the semifinals and championship will be determined Thursday.