Oct. 13 - BETHANY, W.Va. – After rolling to a 3-0 victory (25-5, 25-8, 25-22) over Waynesburg in the first match of the day, the Bethany College volleyball team suffered a 3-1 loss (18-25, 26-28, 25-22, 23-25) to Thomas More to go 1-1 in their final two home matches of the regular season Saturday.
Prior to the Waynesburg match, the Bison honored its winningest senior class in program history, as the group of Taylor Cassidy (Barboursville, W.Va./Cabell Midland), Lauren Goodwill (Canton, Ohio/Jackson), Meredith Holl (Mogadore, Ohio), Katie Kurtz (Charleroi, Pa.) and Jessica Zavatchen (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) were recognized. Entering the day, they had led Bethany to a 92-42 record during their careers.
Sophomore Breana Harris (Severn, Md./ Old Mill) delivered six kills to ignite the Bison (22-6, 11-3) to an 8-1 start in the first set against Waynesburg and BC never looked back. The Green and White raced to the 25-5 win and then used an 18-2 run in the second to take control of that set. The 25-8 win was closed out by kills from Holl (right) and sophomore Lynsie Mandt (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne).
In the third set, the Yellow Jackets stayed with the Bison until the end. The score was knotted at 20-20 until a kill by Holl put BC in front for good. Then Harris had kills to account for the final four points of the set, as Bethany closed out the 3-0 win and season sweep of Waynesburg.
Harris finished the match with a team-best 10 kills, while Zavatchen sent out 22 assists. Freshman Julia Mouch (Toledo, Ohio/Sylvania Southview) brought up nine digs to lead BC and also served three aces to match Kurtz for the team lead.
The big match to close out the day pitted second-place Bethany against current PAC leader Thomas More, who entered the fray undefeated against league foes. A 6-0 Saints run early in the initial set gave TMC a lead they never relinquished, as the visitors won a 25-18 decision to go in front. In the second, the Bison tallied seven of 10 points to take a 21-17 lead, but that was answered by a 7-1 Thomas More spurt that gave the visitors two set points at 24-22.
Bethany would fend off both of those, the second coming on a block by Goodwill, and then took a 26-25 lead on a Goodwill kill. But the Saints would answer back with three straight points to take the set and a 2-0 advantage.
The Bison led for the majority of the third set, but couldn’t pull away from the Saints. A Cassidy kill broke a 17-17 tie and she added two more to help push BC out to a 22-18 lead. Another TMC charge brought the visitors back to a tie at 22-22, but sophomore Jordan Fenner (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville North) had two kills as part of a 3-0 set-clinching run that trimmed the Thomas More lead to 2-1.
Bethany looked primed to send the match to a fifth set, as three kills from Goodwill aided in the Green and White taking a 23-20 lead. But the Saints put together one more run, this time scoring five straight to win the set and match, which extended TMC’s winning streak to 16 in a row.
Pacing the BC attack was Cassidy, who posted 16 kills, while Goodwill registered 13, Harris had 11 and Fenner totaled 10. Zavatchen completed the second match with 47 assists and the back row work was spearheaded by Mouch with 18 digs and Kurtz (right) had 10 as well as two aces.
Now with the home portion of their schedule complete, the Bison will finish the regular season with five straight road matches. That stretch begins Thursday with a non-conference contest at Penn State-Altoona that will begin at 7 p.m.