Defiance Clinches Home Court for First Round of HCAC Tourney
Bluffton (14-13, 4-4 HCAC)
Defiance (17-12, 6-3 HCAC)
10/24/2012 | Defiance, OH | Attendance: 531
DEFIANCE, Ohio – On a day when Defiance athletics hosted arch-nemesis Bluffton University in women’s soccer, men’s soccer and volleyball in pivotal Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference matchups, the Yellow Jacket volleyball team completed the sweep for DC with an emphatic 3-0 straight-set victory over the Beavers to clinch the four-seed in the HCAC tournament.
The Jackets and Beavers entered the contest with the Purple and Gold a half game up on Bluffton in the conference standings for the four seed, with the three and four seeds hosting matches in the first round of the HCAC tourney. The Jackets went into the match losers of six-straight matches to the Beavers.
Defiance came out of the blocks focused and sharp, as the Jackets built a 17-13 lead midway through the first frame. The Purple and Gold maintained the pressure throughout the first set and won by a score of 25-21. Sophomore Bree Anderson and the reigning HCAC Offensive Player of the week, junior Chelsea Ludeman, peppered the Bluffton squad in the first with Anderson totaling six kills and Ludeman adding five.
Bluffton began the second set determined to even the match at one set apiece and grabbed an early 9-7 advantage. However, unlike previous home matches, the Yellow Jackets dug in and won 18 of the next 27 points to win the second set in decisive fashion with a score of 25-18. The win gave the Purple and Gold a comfortable 2-0 set lead and the squad the confidence to put the Beavers away. Pierce stepped up in the second set to lead the Jacket attack with five kills.
After grabbing the quick two-set lead, Defiance was determined to end the match in impressive straight-set fashion. The Yellow Jackets quickly jumped out to a 7-2 lead, as the Purple and Gold put on an attacking clinic in the third set. DC cruised the rest of the set to a 25-16 victory behind a hitting percentage of .478, while using its stifling defense to hold Bluffton to a -0.02 hitting percentage in the final frame.
The Yellow Jackets saved its best performance for last, as Defiance played its most complete match in the regular season finale. The Purple and Gold totaled 45 kills and a hitting percentage of .340 and forced Bluffton to an overall hitting percentage of .049.
Ludeman and Pierce led the Jacket attack in the win, as each blasted 13 kills over the three sets. Sophomore setter Alicia Kalik continued her great play, as the South Lyon native finished the evening with 41 assists for an average of 13.67 per set.
Senior libero Lindsay McDaniel led the Defiance defense on senior night, as McDaniel was the only Yellow Jacket to reach double-digits in digs with 19.
The win moves DC’s regular season record to 17-12 and wraps up HCAC action with a 6-3 record, the Jackets best marks in both categories since the 2009 season.
The Purple and Gold will host Hanover on Tuesday evening in the first round of the conference tournament at 7:00 p.m. The Jackets won the first match between the two sides in a thrilling five-set victory on October 14.