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Bison Take Two to Open Season at Capital Tournament

Aug. 31 - COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Bethany College volleyball team opened the 2012 season with a pair of victories the hard way on the first day of the Capital/Otterbein Tournament, as the Bison rallied back from one-set deficits to defeat Capital 3-1 (21-25, 25-14, 25-19, 25-23) and Transylvania 3-2 (25-20, 19-25, 21-25, 25-19, 15-13).

The Bison attack wasn’t clicking in the first set against Capital, as BC posted a .061 hitting percentage for the set while the Crusaders hit at .154. Capital also used an 8-0 spurt in the middle of the set to blow open a one-point difference and surge ahead 20-11 before finishing off the win. Bethany evened the match with a convincing win in the second. After racing out with six straight points to open the set, a string of seven consecutive points later on took the Bison advantage to 10 points and they cruised from there.

The third set was close throughout, but the Bison dominated at the net to clinch. Kills from sophomore Jordan Fenner (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville North) and senior Lauren Goodwill (Canton, Ohio/Jackson), as well as a pair of blocks at the net, accounted for four of BC’s final five points in the set. In the fourth, Bethany led 20-16, only to see the Crusaders storm back to tie the match at 23. But Bethany would secure the win after a Capital service error and a kill by sophomore Breana Harris (Severn, Md./Old Mill).

The Bison were fairly balanced in their attack. Senior Taylor Cassidy (Barboursville, W.Va./Cabell Midland) smacked a team-high 12 kills and was followed by Harris with nine, while Fenner and Goodwill had six apiece. Senior Jessica Zavatchen (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) shipped out 31 assists to trigger the offense. The defensive performance was highlighted by three assisted blocks from Harris and 19 digs from sophomore Kelly Becquet (Finleyville, Pa./Ringgold), who also served up a team-best three aces.

In the second match of the evening, the Bison jumped in front with an opening set win, only to see Transylvania take the next two and stand one away from the victory. But Bethany would bounce back with a 25-19 win in the fourth and then the Green and White continued a trend they started last year. On their way to a school-record 31 wins in 2011, the Bison went 4-1 in five-set matches and by escaping with a 15-13 decision against Transy Friday, BC continued to show their mettle in matches that go the distance.

While Friday’s matches were hard-fought, Bethany can expect more of the same Saturday. The Bison will head over to nearby Otterbein and take on the host Cardinals (1-1), who were first among Others Receiving Votes in the AVCA Preseason Top 25 poll. The final match of the tournament for BC will come against Mount Union, who was ranked 18th in the preseason poll.