November 14, 2014
By: Brittany Roth, sports information assistant
ST LOUIS, Mo. - The Bluffton University volleyball was undaunted by its second straight trip to the NCAA Regionals, but in the end #7 Washington University had too many weapons as the Bears moved into the Regional semifinals with a three-set sweep on Friday, Nov. 14. The Beavers wrapped up their season with an outstanding 23-12 mark, while Washington moved to 34-5 with the victory.
The Beavers came out ready for action, going up 5-2 thanks to kills from Jenny Brown (St. Marys/Memorial) and Kendra Parmenter (Grove City) along with a Brown and MacKenzie McFarlin (Ashland) block. A 10-3 spurt by the home Bears turned the momentum and it was all Washington as the Beavers were unable to put together multiple points in the first set following a 7-5 lead for the visitors.
A 4-2 run midway through set two made the score 11-11 before seven of the next eight points went the way of the Bears, forcing Coach Yarnell to use both of his timeouts as Washington opened a comfortable 18-12 margin. Back-to-back errors by the home team helped Bluffton pull within four points (19-15), but Washington countered with six straight for a 25-15 win and 2-0 lead in the match. Junior setter Sara Roth (Findlay/Van Buren) took a hard hit at 22-15, ending her night as the First Team All-HCAC setter was unable to play in the clincher.
Washington took advantage of the shift in personnel, rolling off nine of the first 12 points in set three as Bluffton called an early timeout to slow the Bears. The Beavers pulled within five points several times but were not able get any closer as the #2 seeded Bears capped the sweep with a 25-16 win in set three.
Parmenter led all hitters with 10 kills, but nobody else had more than five (McFarlin) as Bluffton tallied just 24 as a team. Freshman libero Sydney Mohler (Lima/Central Catholic) picked up a match-high 12 digs, while Roth handed out 12 assists. Brown finished with three block assists. Senior Ashley Litwiller (Hopedale, Ill./Olympia) and sophomore Lauren Weisgarber (Bolivar/Tuscarawas Valley) chipped in with two blocks apiece.
The Beavers capped off a marvelous season with their second NCAA Regional appearance in as many years despite a youthful squad that has the talent and experience to continue that trend next September when the 2015 season kicks off. A conference best four returning First Team All-HCAC honorees will give the Beavers a battle-tested squad capable of making another deep run into November!