Nov. 3 – BETHANY, W. Va. – The Bethany College volleyball team cruised to a 3-0 win over Washington & Jefferson in the opening round of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference playoffs. The Bison advanced to the PAC Semifinals with the three-game sweep, winning the match by scores of 25-13, 25-15 and 25-13.
The Bison jumped out to a 7-2 lead in game one. The Presidents quickly responded with a 6-0 run of their own before Bethany called a timeout, trailing 10-7. From there, the Green & White would respond with a 5-0 run to take a 12-10 advantage, forcing a W&J timeout.
The Bethany run would continue after the stoppage of play, as the Bison tacked on five more points to complete a 10-0 run. Dylana McKenzie (Hopewell, Ohio/West Muskingum) total three kills in the run, while Allie Powell (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central) added an ace and a kill. The run helped fuel the Bison to 25-13 victory in the set.
In set two, the Bison never trailed, as Bethany took an 8-5 lead in the early stages of the game on a pair of aces from Dakota McKenzie (Hopewell, Ohio/West Muskingum). From there, the Green & White would push the advantage to as many as nine (19-10), using an 11-5 run to expand the advantage. Junior Alexis Castro (Lorain, Ohio/Lorain) accounted for three kills in the run, while Mackenzie Lauber (Mansfield, Ohio/Madison) added an ace.
The Bison would look to Dylana McKenzie to help finish off the second set, as she tallied three of Bethany’s final five points. Arielle Sanders (Maple Heights, Ohio/Maple Heights), also got in on the action, tallying the sets final point, giving the Bison the 25-15 win in set two.
The Presidents’ hung around early in the third set, holding a slim, 6-5, advantage through the first few points. Bethany would take the commanding advantage from there, outscoring the Presidents 11-6 to take a four-point lead (16-12).
After a timeout by Washington & Jefferson, the Bison would use an 8-0 run to push the game to 24-12. The biggest push came from freshman Keili Terry (Leesburg, Va./Saint John's) who posted three-consecutive aces to put a strangle hold on the game.
A kill from Dylana McKenzie secured the match for Bethany, taking the final set 25-13. Dakota McKenzie recorded four kills while Sumayyah Muhammad (Warren, Ohio/Warren G. Harding), Castro and Sanders tallied two.
Offensively, both Dylana and Dakota McKenzie had 10 kills in the match. Castro finished with seven kills while Muhammed added six and Sanders, five. Lauber led the Bison with 19 assists, while Powell totaled 15 of her own.
Defensively, the Bison held Washington & Jefferson to a .069 hitting percentage in the match. Bethany totaled 58 digs through the three sets, the second-highest total in a three-game match this season. Five different Bison had at least seven digs with Julia Mouch (Toledo, Ohio/Sylvania Southview) leading the way with 14.
With the victory, the Bison advanced to the PAC semifinals for the fifth-consecutive year under Head Coach Courtney Kline. Kline also became the first coach in Bethany history to reach 200 career wins. In her ninth season, Kline has amassed a record of 200-120 (.625 winning percentage) and has led the Green & White to seven-consecutive post-season appearances.
The Green & White will next travel to Crestview Hills, Kentucky, to compete in the PAC Semifinals against the second-seeded Golden Tornadoes of Geneva College. The two programs split their regular-season series, with each team winning 3-1 on their home floor. Bethany and Geneva will be the second game on the docket on Friday at 8 p.m., with the victor facing the winner of Thomas More and Westminster for the PAC title on Saturday.