Oct. 27 - BETHANY, W.Va. – In a possible preview of a PAC Tournament first round match, the Bethany volleyball team just came up on the short end of a 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 23-25, 21-25) decision to visiting Washington & Jefferson Tuesday night at Hummel Field House.
The Bison, who will be the fifth or sixth seed in next week’s Tournament beginning Tuesday, fell to 14-14 overall and 4-9 in the PAC. The Presidents, who could finish anywhere from second to fourth in the regular season standings, improved to 14-12 and 9-3 in the league.
The opening set saw wild momentum changes throughout. Bethany reeled off six consecutive points early in the set, four coming off aces from sophomore Megan Hoffman (Cambridge, Ohio/John Glenn), to take a 9-4 lead. W&J responded with an 11-2 run to take their largest lead at 15-11. The Bison bounced back with 10 of the next 13 points, which featured a trio of kills from freshman Lauren Goodwill (Canton, Ohio/Jackson). After the Presidents moved back within one at 22-21, two more Talkington kills and a putaway from sophomore Alyssa Schrecengost (Wexford, Pa./Vincentian) closed out the set and the 25-22 Bethany win.
The Bison scored the first two points of the second set and led almost the entire way. W&J never fell behind by more than three and the BC lead stood at 21-19 late in the set. A wild volley was highlighted by W&J’s Tessa Slifka running through the chairs on her own bench to keep a ball alive and the Presidents would eventually win the point. Talkington had a kill to run the lead back to 22-20, but W&J scored four straight and five of the last six to sneak out with the 25-23 win and even the match.
The third set was the opposite of the second, as W&J never trailed. Their lead stood at 22-18 when Bethany scored four straight to draw even, but the Presidents once again closed the set with a flourish, scoring three of the final four points for a 25-23 win and moving within a set of the victory.
W&J capitalized on their momentum going into the fourth, as they streaked to a 7-1 lead and made Bethany play from behind the rest of the way. The Bison were able to chip away and made a run late, slicing a seven-point deficit down to 22-19, but the teams swapped points the rest of the way and the Presidents were able to hold on for the clinching 25-21 triumph.
Goodwill posted a strong night at the net with team-highs of 11 kills and three blocks. Schrecengost and sophomore Courtney Meadows (Canton, Ohio/McKinley) each had eight kills, while Schrecengost added 16 digs. Freshman setter Jessica Zavatchen (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) passed out 32 assists, while the duo of Hoffman and freshman Sarah Slagle (North Canton, Ohio/Perry) each served four aces.
Closing out the top defensive effort for the Green and White was sophomore Tiffany Hoffman (Cambridge, Ohio/John Glenn) with 23 digs and Slagle with 13.
Bethany will complete the regular season Saturday by hosting a tri-match. The Bison will take on LaRoche at 11 a.m. in a non-conference match, which will be followed by Grove City and LaRoche at 1 p.m. The final contest of the day will be at 3 p.m. and pit Bethany and Grove City (7-20, 4-9), with the winner earning the fifth seed in next week’s PAC Tournament and the loser going in as the sixth seed.