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Bison Volleyball Splits A Pair On Day One Of The Midwest Invitational

Oct. 11- GRAND RAPIDS, MI- The Bethany College women’s volleyball team split a pair of matches on day one of the Midwest Invitational hosted by Calvin College and Hope College. The Bison fell 3-2 in a five set thriller (25-23,19-25,22-25,25-20,13-15) to #18 Chicago in the first match of the day and defeated Heidelberg in its second match 3-1 (25-21, 25-23, 15-25, 25-16.  

With the split, the Bison improve to 19-5 on the season.

Freshman Dylana McKenzie (Hopewell, Ohio /West Muskingum) and Dakota McKenzie (Hopewell, Ohio /West Muskingum) led the way for the Bison with 14 kills against the Phoenix.

The first set was back and forth between the two teams with the largest lead for the Phoenix of four points coming at 21-17. The Bison would score five straight points to take their first lead of the opening set at 22-21. Junior Breana Harris (Severn, Md./Old Mill) got her third kill of the first set and the Bison would take game one 25-23. 

Bethany dropped two straight sets (19-25 and 22-25) and saw itself down, 2-1, entering the fourth set.

The Phoenix came out strong in the fourth set and took an 8-3 lead before the Bison called a timeout. Bethany reeled off eight of the next 11 points and tied the game at 11.The Bison capitalized on an attack error by the Phoenix and would take a four point lead at 19-15. Harris capped off the fourth set with a kill (25-20) and forced a fifth set tiebreak.

Dakota McKenzie got her 11th kill of the game as the Bison took its largest lead of the fifth set, 10-7. The Phoenix would go on to score eight of the next 11 points and come back to take the fifth set 15-13.

When asked about her thoughts on the match against #18 Chicago, head coach Courtney Kline had these remarks "I am proud of our girls effort tonight. We made some errors in the 5th set when they game was tough which may have cost us the match. It only shows is how much potential we have yet to develop in this team." 

In the second game of the day, Dakota and Dylana McKenzie led the Bison again with 16 and 13 kills respectively. Junior Lynzie Mandt (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) also had a great game for Bethany as she totaled 11 kills.

The Student Princes jumped out to an early 7-3 lead when Jamie Kluding had her third kill of the match. Sophomore Mackenzie Lauber (Mansfield, Ohio /Madison Mansfield) scored a kill to tie the game at 10 for Bethany. The Bison took its first lead of the opening set at 12-11 when Harris scored on a kill. Heildeberg looked like it would take the first set at led 21-19, but the Bison came storming back and would take the first set 25-21.

Heildeberg got off to a great start in set two and took a five point lead at 18-13. The Bison came back and took their first lead of the match late in the set at 24-23 and would go on to win game two 25-23.

The Student Princes won the third set 25-15.

Bethany took its largest lead of the fourth set at 16-8, as it scored on an attack error by the Student Princes. With the Bison up 24-16, Harris won the fourth set on a service ace on a service ace and wrapped for the match for the Bison Bison as they defeated Heidelberg 3-1.

Bethany returns to action tomorrow matches against #7 Mount Union at 11:00 a.m. and #12 Wittenberg at 2:30 p.m. Both matches will be played at Hope College.