PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The Bluffton University volleyball team came up short to Ohio Athletic Conference members Mount Union and Muskingum on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. The Beavers fell to 6-9 on the season
Bluffton battled back from an 18-6 deficit in the Carnegie Mellon DoubleTree lidlifter, pulling within 23-21 following a Cassie Mladek (Coshocton, Ohio/Ridgewood) kill before Mount Union closed it out with a service ace for the 25-21 victory. Down two sets to none, the Beavers forced a Purple Raider timeout at 11-8 in the third. Five straight counters for Mount Union sandwiched around two Beaver timeouts helped the Purple Raiders to a 19-15 advantage. Bluffton was unable to get closer than two points in the 25-19 Mount Union clincher.
Outside hitter Bethany Martini (Pickerington/North) hit .318 with nine kills against just two errors in the opener. Fellow senior Erin Weisgarber (Bolivar/Tuscarawas Valley) just missed out on a triple double with 24 assists, 10 digs and seven kills. She hit a blistering .636 thanks to no errors on only 11 attacks. Mladek hit .333 with four putaways. Remi Bower (Deshler/Patrick Henry) and Maddie White (Ashland) added seven and six kills, respectively. Jessie Gibson (Warsaw, Ohio/River View) chipped in with four kills and no errors for a .500 hitting clip. Freshman Brooke Kleman (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) scooped up a match-high 15 digs.
The Beavers fought back in the 3rd set, winning a 31-29 thriller, but Muskingum took the 4th with a 25-12 clinching victory in Bluffton's second match of the afternoon.
Martini and sophomore Sarah Heydinger (Tiro/Buckeye Central) connected with setter Erin Weisgarber nine times apiece in the four-setter. Maddie White chipped in with eight winners. Weisgarber and Jessie Gibson (Warsaw/River View) tallied six kills apiece.
Weisgarber ran the offense and dished out 33 assists to go along with her seven pickups. Kleman pitched in 13 digs against the Muskies while Martini helped out with 11.
Bluffton is back at Carnegie Mellon on Saturday, Sept. 22, when the Beavers do battle with Marietta and Elizabethtown, starting at 1 p.m.