BVU Volleyball Loses Conference Thriller to Central


Emily Kenny

Tanner Frost, Sport Editor

Coming off both a seven-game win streak and a conference opening victory over Nebraska Wesleyan, the Buena Vista Volleyball team traveled to Pella, Iowa to take on the Central Dutch this past Thursday night, Sept. 20.

Heading into the matchup, the Beavers’ (8-3) rocky start to the season was shaken off as they found their form. Sydney McLaren, Kylie Roe, and Serena Sandvig have proven themselves an offensive trio to be reckoned with, recording 359 of the team’s 550 kills.

Meanwhile, Central (5-7) has been up and down all year. Their one conference matchup thus far had been the Dutch getting swept by Simpson, 0-3.

From the first set of the night, the match proved to be a thriller. Central came out hot on their home court, but Buena Vista answered back-and-forth with the Dutch.

Entering the low 20’s in points for both teams, BVU finally took the lead at 24-23. Central had other plans. With three kills in a row coming from the Dutch’s front line, Central rallied and took set one, 26-24.

Set two went mostly the same way of the first. Setter Chapel Carter of the Dutch surged their
offense, providing 25 assists through the night. Buena Vista’s defensive efforts were also commendable, with Summer Goss recording 32 digs. The team totaled 92.

In the end, a couple of kills late on proved enough for Central to also take set two 25-22.
Down by two sets and facing a sweep, Buena Vista rallied back with a second wind. Kylie Roe’s total of 15 kills along with Brooke Runneberg’s four blocks saw BVU find their form.

After hitting Central hard with an 8-2 lead in the third set, the Beavers almost let it slip as the Dutch gathered themselves and tied the set up at nine all. The Beavers lost their lead late on but rallied once again on an 11-4 run to take set three 25-21.

Buena Vista carried their forward momentum into set four but lost it halfway through. Central would remain consistently in front and finish off Buena Vista in set four.

Final score: Central 3, Buena Vista 1.

Sydney McLaren also contributed on both offense and defense with 13 kills and 15 digs. Mackenzie Gropel recorded a double-double of 40 assists to go along with 17 digs.

Head Coach Aubrey Havlichek was disappointed with the result and seeks to improve the Beavers’ game offensively.

“Central was relentless, that was their best game of the season,” says Havlichek. “When it came down to the wire we couldn’t execute the offensive game plan. We led 24-23 in set one before they scored a point and we made two hitting errors to lose. That was the story of our night.”

Havlichek understands that following this game plan is essential to the team’s success and is already looking forward to taking on Simpson.

“We will look to keep up the passing and defense we have had while incorporating our offense. If we follow the game plan offensively we should have no issue.”

Senior outside hitter Serena Sandvig wants the team to synergize on both offense and defense, as well as convert every point they can.

“We need to execute off of our passes in serve receive,” says Sandvig. “We had great passes on Tuesday but offensively we did not convert which was our downfall. The team should stay aggressive in all aspects of the game, whether it’s digging, blocking, or hitting. We need to play smart and aggressive at all times.”

The volleyball team will be back in action this Tuesday, Sept. 24. They will take on Simpson at home in the Siebens Fieldhouse beginning at 7 p.m.