DEFIANCE, OHIO - The Defiance College volleyball team dropped a tight three set match to Bluffton University (25-19, 25-23, 25-23) in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action on Wednesday evening at the Karl H. Weaner Center.
The Yellow Jackets (3-16 overall, 1-4 HCAC) were led on the day by senior Marissa Windau (Castalia/Margaretta) with a team-best seven kills, while freshman Brianna Wheeler (Sturgis, Mich.) dished out 10 assists.
In the opening set, Defiance surged ahead early using a five point rally led by freshman Abigail Kennedy (harrod/Allen East) with back-to-back kills putting DC on top 5-3. Bluffton responded tying the contest at 5-5 before a kill by Windau and freshman Delaney Monnin (Defiance/Tinora) flipped the momentum in Defiance favor. However, the Beavers continued to hang around late in the set as they capitalized on a pair of Purple and Gold miscues to claim the 19-12 advantage. But the Yellow Jackets weren't done as they again put together a late rally following a kill by junior Emma Seitz (Toledo/Central Catholic) to halt the Beavers, 20-17. Bluffton deemed to much as they used a service ace catching the DC defense off guard en route to the set one victory.
The DC offense erupted in set two as back-to-back kills by Seitz and Windau capped off a Defiance three point rally for the 6-2 lead. Windau continued to pilot the offense as she connected on back-to-back service aces to extend the Defiance advantage, 10-2. However, the Beavers refused to go down without a fight as the rattled off four straight points to pull within two of the Yellow Jackets, 14-12. Moments later, Bluffton would capture its first lead of the set following a kill by Jessica Lovell ,21-20. BU never looked back as they went on to claim set two, 25-23.
In the final set, Defiance again jumped ahead early scoring the sets first three points led by Seitz, 3-0. The two teams exchanged points for several minutes before a Monnin kill and a Beaver miscue pushed the DC lead, 16-12. Bluffton again attempted to rally as they knotted the contest at 19-19 following another Lovell kill. However, Defiance had some magic up their sleave as Wheeler delivered a strike from behind the back line before BU was able to shutdown the Yellow Jackets and claim the straight set victory.
Defiance returns to action on Saturday, October 10 as they play host to Transylvania at the Karl H. Weaner Center. The contest is set for 1:00 p.m.