Oct. 8 – DELAWARE, Ohio – After suffering just its second loss of the season by a 3-1 score to Hiram in the opening match of the day, the Bethany College volleyball team bounced back to claim a 3-0 victory over Ohio Wesleyan, who hosted the tri-match Saturday.
With the split, the Bison now stands at 21-2, which marks the third-most wins in a single-season by a BC volleyball team.
The opening match of the day was against a traditionally strong Hiram squad, who ranks among the top teams in the NCAC. After the Terriers won the first set 25-17, BC responded with a 25-23 decision to draw even. The Green and White led the second game most of the way, only to see Hiram rally to take a 22-21 advantage. Kills by junior Taylor Cassidy (Barboursville, W.Va./Cabell Midland) and senior Carrie Talkington (Moundsville, W.Va./John Marshall) put BC back on top and they closed out the match with another spike from Cassidy and a Hiram error.
In the third game, a 6-2 surge by Bethany seemed to give them control with an 18-14 lead. The Terriers cut it to one, but Cassidy put another away to make it 23-21. Hiram mounted another rally, this time scoring five of the final six points, with the last two coming on kills by Shaina Bryan to close out the game 26-24.
The Bison had another lead late in the fourth game, but Hiram climbed back again with a run to finish off the match. A kill by freshman Jordan Fenner (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville North) had Bethany in front 20-18. The Terriers then ripped off seven of eight points for a 25-21 triumph, with the final one coming on an ace and BC’s six-match winning streak was broken.
The loss came despite big performances from a couple Bison hitters. Cassidy pounded down 21 kills to set a new career-high and made it a double-double with 13 digs, while Fenner delivered 14 kills. Junior setter Jessica Zavatchen (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) sent out 50 assists, her fourth match this season with 50+ assists and senior Tiffany Hoffman (Cambridge, Ohio/John Glenn) paced the back row with 15 digs.
Bethany was seeking its second victory of the season over Ohio Wesleyan in the final match of the day, as BC beat the Bishops 3-0 back on Sept. 11 at the Rose-Hulman Tournament. The home team held an early 7-6 lead before the Bison took control with a 10-2 run off the strength of four kills by Fenner. A pair of aces by Zavatchen and two kills from freshman Lynsie Mandt (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) helped close out a 25-12 win for Bethany.
The second game was a struggle throughout, with OWU taking its first lead at 22-21 on a kill by Katie Fain. It would be their final point of the game though, as Talkington and Cassidy went back-to-back with kills and after a Bishop error, Cassidy posted another kill for a 25-22 BC triumph.
An early tie in the third was quickly broken up by a 6-1 Bison run and OWU never moved closer than two the rest of the game. Cassidy completed a big day by hammering a kill for the final point, giving her 10 for the match and 31 for the day. She did not lead the Bison attack in the OWU win however, as Talkington put away 12 kills. Zavatchen piled up 37 assists and Tiffany Hoffman once again spearheaded the defensive side with 19 digs.
Bethany’s next match will also be a non-conference tilt, as the Bison host Pitt-Greensburg Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in Hummel Field House.