Oct. 29 – BETHANY, W. Va. – The Bethany College volleyball team took care of business on Tuesday evening at the Hummel Field House, taking down Washington & Jefferson, 3-0, for the team’s 16th-consecutive PAC victory of the season.
The Bison stepped on the gas pedal early, jumping out to a quick 15-5 lead in set one behind four kills and a block by Dakota McKenzie (Hopewell, Ohio/West Muskingum). With the Bison up 11-5, Lynsie Mandt (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) served four straight points, including three service aces to put the Bison up by 10. Bethany would then go on for the 25-10 victory in game one.
In game two, the Bison and Presidents’ were tied just once in the contest (1-1) before the Bison took the lead for good on a kill by Breana Harris (Severn, Md./Old Mill). The kill would be the first point of a 5-0 run that put Bethany in front, 6-1, in game number two. W&J would cut the game as close as 9-7, before Bethany was able to go on a 10-4 run. McKenzie once again fueled the run, notching three kills in the stretch. The Bison would then stretch the lead to as big as nine points (22-13) before going on for the 25-17 win in game two.
The match was not without its’ difficulties, however, as the Bison opened game number three falling in a big hole early, and seeing themselves trail, 14-3. Down by nine, Bethany began to chip away at the lead, pulling within four at 18-14 on a kill by Mandt and getting the score back two within two points at 21-19. After W&J scored the next point to go up 22-19, the Bison finished the comeback by notching six straight points. Bethany took the first lead of the third game, 23-22 on a service ace by Julia Mouch (Toledo, Ohio/Sylvania Southview) and would put the Presidents’ away on McKenzie’s ninth kill of the night, taking game three, 25-22, and the match, 3-0.
Over the course of the game, the Bison were led offensively by Harris’ 12 kill effort, but it was a total team effort that contributed to the win. The freshmen trio of Dakota McKenzie, Dylana McKenzie (Hopwell, Ohio/West Muskingum) and Alexis Castro (Lorain, Pa./Lorain) combined for 21 kills and just six errors. Dakota McKenzie finished with nine, while Dylana McKenzie and Castro finished with seven and five, respectively. Mackenzie Lauber (Mansfield, Ohio/Madison Mansfield) totaled seven kills and 30 assists, while Mandt finished with five kills and three service aces.
Defensively, the Bison finished with 10.0 total team blocks and 50 digs while holding the Presidents to a .075 hitting percentage. Mouch was the only Bison in double digit digs as she finished with 13. Mandt, Lauber, and Kelly Becquet (Finleyville, Pa./Ringgold) all finished with six each. Castro led all players with six block assists, while Dylana McKenzie finished with four assisted blocks.
The Bison, now 16-0 in conference play, have just two games remaining in the regular season. Bethany will host Thomas more for its’ home finale on Thursday, October 31 at 7 p.m.