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Bison Suffer First Home Loss of Season to Westminster

Oct. 9 - BETHANY, W.Va. – A big lead in the opening set slipped away from the Bethany College volleyball team and visiting Westminster built off that momentum to come away with a 3-0 (31-29, 25-18, 25-23) victory over the Bison Tuesday night in Hummel Field House.

The loss was the first of the season on their home floor for the Bison, who are now 20-5 overall and 9-2 in the conference. The Titans won their sixth in a row and now stand at 18-7 and 8-4 in the PAC.

In the first set of the night, Westminster was in front 7-5 until a kill by senior Lauren Goodwill (Canton, Ohio/Jackson) gave the serve back to Bethany. Sophomore Kelly Becquet (Finleyville, Pa./Ringgold) stepped up and slammed five aces as part of a 13-0 Bison surge that put BC in front 18-7. The run was also keyed by three kills from Goodwill.

That Bison push was answered by three straight points from the Titans and they kept chipping away at the difference until they fought off two set points to even the score at 24-24. The lead swung back and forth between the teams until senior Taylor Cassidy (Barboursville, W.Va./Cabell Midland) had three kills in four points and Bethany was again on the verge of winning the set with a 29-28 lead. But Westminster fought back one last time, scoring three in a row to pull out the opening set and go in front 1-0.

A pair of aces by senior Katie Kurtz (Charleroi, Pa.) helped Bethany take a 6-5 lead in the second set, but Westminster took over after that. A 7-2 run put the visitors in the lead for good and they gradually pulled away for a 25-18 win to go in front 2-0. In the third set, numerous mini runs were exchanged, as each team would take two-point leads, just to see the other come right back.

2767Becquet12.jpg Finally Westminster broke out to an 18-15 lead, but the Bison responded with four straight, including one on another ace by Becquet (right) and a kill from sophomore Megan Beebe (Irondale, Ohio/Indian Creek). Later in the set, two more Beebe kills and one from Cassidy had Bethany on top 22-21, but Westminster came back following a timeout to win four of the next five points and complete the 3-0 triumph.

The lone Bison to reach double digits in kills was sophomore Breana Harris (Severn, Md./Old Mill) with 11, while senior setter Jessica Zavatchen (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) totaled 35 assists. Becquet completed the night with a career-high six aces and freshman Julia Mouch (Toledo, Ohio/Sylvania Southview) brought up 11 digs.

Bethany faces another stiff PAC test in its next match, as BC will travel to Thiel (14-5, 8-1) Thursday night for a 7 p.m. contest.