STERLING, Kan. - The Bethel Volleyball schedule went from zero to 100 real quick this weekend as the Lady Threshers played four matches in two days on Friday and Saturday at the Warrior Invitational, hosted by Sterling College. They started off the action against Haskell Indian Nations University, who proved to be a tough opponent. The Lady Threshers fell to Haskell in four sets (20-25, 25-14, 25-18, 25-16), but ended the day with a huge victory over Central Christian. Bethel was able to sweep the Tigers in three sets (25-19, 25-17, 25-20). Saturday morning unfortunately did not come with any more wins for the Lady Threshers, as they were defeated by Presentation College in four sets (23-25, 25-17, 25-11, 25-11) and by Sterling in a non-conference matchup (25-11, 18-25, 27-25, 25-20).
Bethel was able to defeat Haskell in Set 1 25-20, behind the team's 11 total kills in the set. They were again able to tally 11 kills in Set 2, but their attack errors also went up as Haskell took it 25-14. From there the attack for Bethel faltered, and the match was conceded. Katie Neira (SR/San Antonio, Texas) and Abby Kurtzer (SR/Haxtun, Colo.) led the way with 12 and nine kills a piece to them. The set-ups for these attacks were brought to us by Kelsie Anderson (SO/Lindsborg, Kan.) and Avery Myatt (SO/Windsor, Colo.), who contributed 11 and nine assists, respectively. Taylor Buessing (JR/Topeka, Kan.) also did her part by keeping the floor clean from the Haskell attack, and found herself with 15 digs in the match.
The Lady Threshers got down to business against Central Christian, and held the lead for over 85% of the time during the three sets. Set 1 stayed tight for the most part, as the Tigers were able to keep up with Bethel's pace and tied it at 4-4, and later 8-8. Bethel never showed signs of quitting, and opened it up to a 19-13 lead thanks to the attack of Neira, Anna Stucky (JR/Moundridge, Kan.), and errors on the Tigers. Bethel would go on to win the set 25-19, and kept the tempo going in the final two set wins. Myatt was able to perfectly place 23 assists for the attack, a new career high for her in three-set matches.
The Threshers may have needed a bit more sleep before their early Saturday matchpu against Presentation, because it didn't quite go the way they had hoped. Bethel came out fierce, and fought hard for a 25-23 win in Set 1. A whopping 15 of these 25 points were directly from kills. Unfortunately their attack hit a decline, as they lost the next three sets by mustering up only 17, 11, and 11 points per set.
Finally, their fourth game was against the tournament hosts, the Sterling Warriors. Despite both of these teams being in the KCAC, this match does not count as a conference game because of the tournament format it happened under. The intensity did not diminish in the slightest though because of this, as both teams fought hard for the victory. Sterling started off strong in Set 1, and found their way to a quick 25-11 win. Bethel in-turn dug deep and spiked hard to a 25-18 Set 2 victory. Set 3 went back and forth, and required extra time to finish. A strong comeback by Bethel was not enough to clinch the set, as Sterling took it 27-25, and would go on to win the match in Set 4.
Bethel (2-4) is playing with an intensity and fire seldom seen last year, and it's showing on paper and to the spectators who are watching. They will now take a well deserved break, before continuing on with ther conference schedule on Wednesday, September 6th, when they host Friends University at 7:00 PM.