HILLSBORO, Kan. - The Bethel College Volleyball team traveled up "13 Mile Road" to Hillsboro to open conference play tonight against rival Tabor College. Bethel has not defeated Tabor since 2014, and unfortunately for the Threshers, the streak continues. Bethel kept it close through the first two sets (25-20, 25-18), but Tabor's attack was too much for the Threshers to counter in the third, and lost 25-7. Bethel falls to 1-1 on the season, and will play four games in two days this weekend.
Taylor Buessing (JR/Topeka, Kan.) was able to open up the game with an ace, but would be the only time during the first set that Bethel would hold the lead. The Threshrs relinquished this lead as attack errors and the height of Tabor's net protectors stacked up, and the score quickly became 9-2 in the Blue Jays' favor. Mental errors by Tabor allowed Bethel to work their way back into the game, and after a kill by Katie Neira (SR/San Antonio, Texas) followed by an ace for Kelsie Anderson (SO/Lindsborg, Kan.), it was only a 16-13 defecit. The Threshers were unable to get over the hump and take control of the set, and fell 25-20.
"We came out early swinging hard and played some pretty good defense," explained Coach Stacy Middleton.
Bethel again kept it respectable during the second set. Abby Kurtzer (SR/Haxtun, Colo.) was able to sprinkle in three of her team-leading seven kills during this set, which gave a slight boost to the Thresher attack. Unfortunately Bethel lacked high-percentage spikes during the three-set match, and finished with a negative attack percentage. The Threshers lost the second set 25-18.
"Overall we competed well for two games and we were pleased with that. The third game we had a few things that didn't quite go our way and it just snowballed from there."
Tabor's Amy Horner went off during the third set, and was able to rack up eight of Tabor's 25 points. Bethel could do little to stop the attack, and perhaps fatigue started to set in as Bethel fell in the third final set, 25-7.
Kurtzer's seven kills are tied with her personal best. Unfortunately the Thresher attack fell off a bit since the Barclay home-opener, as Kelsie Anderson and Katie Neira each finished with three kills. Anderson was able to lead Bethel with eight assists, and contributed nine digs. Buessing was able to rack up nine digs as well, and Rachel Bustillos (JR/Rosemead, Calif.) finished with eight.
"We'll bounce back and correct a few things and be ready for this weekend's tournament."
Bethel (1-1) takes on a full sleight of competition this weekend as they participate in the Warrior Invitational at Sterling. They are scheduled to take on Haskell Indian Nations University at 3:00 on Friday, followed by Central Christian at 7:00 PM. Then on Saturday they will be up bright and early as they play Presentation College (South Dakota) at 9:00 AM, followed by a technically non-conference matchup with Sterling at 11:00 AM.