Oct. 30 - WASHINGTON, Pa. – By outlasting Washington & Jefferson 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 25-19, 24-26, 15-11) Saturday afternoon in their regular season finale, the Bethany College volleyball team (21-12, 9-7) set a new single-season school record for PAC victories.
The nine conference victories broke the previous record of eight that was set by the 1987 Bethany team, who went 8-4 in the PAC on their way to a school-record 28 wins that year. This year’s BC squad now has the third-most wins in one year behind only the 1987 team, as well as the 1992 lineup which finished 22-15.
The Bison dropped to the opening set Saturday to the Presidents, but rallied to take a 2-1 lead with 25-23 and 25-19 victories in the second and third sets, respectively. However, BC would be extended to a fifth set for the third consecutive match and sixth time in the last nine after W&J squeaked out a 26-24 victory in the fourth. The Green and White lost both of their five-setters earlier this week at home to Thiel and Westminster, but snapped that string by taking the deciding set 15-11 over the Presidents.
The victory was keyed by another big effort at the net from junior Carrie Talkington (Moundsville, W.Va./John Marshall). She delivered 14 kills, giving her 10 consecutive matches with double digit kills, and also assisted on eight blocks. The 5-10 junior now has 105 assisted blocks this year, the third-most in one season by a Bison behind only Heidi Fakes (108 in 1987) and Stacy Matulewicz (148 in 1986).
Also registering a big hitting day was junior Jessica Cole (Connellsville, Pa.), who picked up her third consecutive double-double with 11 kills and 13 digs. Junior Jessica Zavatchen (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) triggered the offense with 44 assists, while sophomore Katie Kurtz (Charleroi, Pa.) served four aces.
In addition to Cole’s work in the back row, junior Tiffany Hoffman (Cambridge, Ohio/John Glenn) brought up 25 digs and Kurtz matched Cole with 13 digs.
Now with the regular season in the books, Bethany will move on to this week’s PAC Tournament. The Bison will be the fifth seed and travel to #4 Saint Vincent for a quarterfinal match Tuesday at 7 p.m. The teams split their two meetings this year, with SVC taking a 3-1 decision in Latrobe Oct. 2 and Bethany gaining revenge with a 3-1 triumph at home Oct. 14, their first-ever win over the Bearcats in 13 career meetings. The winner advances to the PAC semifinals, which will be Friday at #1 Thomas More.