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Bison Move on in PAC Tournament with Sweep Over Grove City

Oct. 30 -BETHANY, W.Va. – With a 3-0 victory (25-14, 25-21, 25-21) over visiting Grove City Tuesday night, the third-seeded Bethany College volleyball team advanced to the PAC Tournament semifinals Friday.

The Bison pushed their record to 28-7 for the season, which is tied for the second-most wins in a year in program history. The Green and White also moved into the semifinals and will take on second-seeded Thiel in the second match Friday night at 8 p.m. The opening match that night will pit #1 Thomas More, who will host the semifinals and championship this weekend, against #5 Westminster, who knocked off #4 Geneva 3-1 Tuesday night.

6396Beebe12.jpg Three consecutive kills from senior Lauren Goodwill (Canton, Ohio/Jackson), who was honored prior to the match for surpassing 1,000 career kills, gave Bethany a 12-10 lead in the first set. Then sophomore Megan Beebe (Irondale, Ohio/Indian Creek) put one away, which ignited an 8-0 spurt that took BC to a 20-10 advantage. A pair of aces from senior Katie Kurtz (Charleroi, Pa.) helped clinch the opening set victory for Bethany.

The Bison used a 5-1 run early in the second set to build a 9-4 lead and continued to add to that margin. A Beebe (right) kill and then a block by the BC sophomore gave Bethany a comfortable 22-13 lead, but the Wolverines (14-17) began chopping into their deficit. The visitors moved as close as 24-21 but a service error provided the final point and a 2-0 Bethany lead.

In the third set, the Bison kept threatening to pull away, but Grove City would score a couple points to stay within striking distance. A five-point Green and White lead was trimmed to 22-19, but a tip by senior setter Jessica Zavatchen (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) and kills by Goodwill and senior Taylor Cassidy (Barboursville, W.Va./Cabell Midland) provided the final points in the 25-21 win and sent Bethany packing for a trip to Thomas More.

2449Harris12.jpg After being recognized prior to the game for recording her 5,000th career assist, Zavatchen engineered the Bison to the win with 31 assists and 10 digs for her 14th double-double of the season. Cassidy was the main beneficiary of the passes with 10 kills, while Goodwill and Harris had nine apiece. Harris (right) led a strong BC presence at the net by matching her career-high with eight blocks, while Beebe and Goodwill had five each.

When Grove City did get a ball past the front row, freshman Julia Mouch (Toledo, Ohio/Sylvania Southview) led the efforts in the back with 18 digs.

Friday’s match between Bethany and Thiel will be the third meeting of the season. The Bison won the first two clashes, both by 3-1 scores. The winner of the Bison/Tomcat semifinal will square off with the Thomas More/Westminster winner in Saturday’s title match at 4 p.m.