BVU Volleyball Falls Shy of Victory in Conference Opener 

Tyler Brunner, Assistant Sports Editor

Suspenseful is one of many words that describe the atmosphere within the BVU sports complex on Wednesday night. No matter what the stats say, it was anything but a game dominated by one team. Rather, it was a tale of two teams fighting for their first win in conference play.  

The Beavers were back home last Wednesday night to face off against conference rivals, the Prairie Wolves of Nebraska Wesleyan, in the first game of the American Rivers Conference (ARC) regular season. Coming into this contest, Nebraska Wesleyan was at a comfortable 6-2 record, while the Beavers were not so lucky, being at 2-8 on the season.

This was a night of change. The Beavers were not going to let the opportunity slip from them. All night long, both teams were evenly matched, each providing the crowd with some close digs and synchronized blocks. In game one, the Prairie Wolves pulled ahead 25-23. Game two and three is where the Beavers shined, winning those games 25-16 and 25-22. Senior Summer Goss was the biggest influence in those two games, showing excitement when one of her teammates executed a great kill or kept the game alive. Even when games were not in their favor, Goss kept the energy of the game positive.

Games 4 and 5 were where momentum began to shift in favor of Nebraska Wesleyan. Game 4 ended with another close victory, this time for the Prairie Wolves, 25-19. This brought them to the decisive game 5. The Beavers had one last shot to start conference play 1-0, and they came close in game 5 with a score of 13-11 at one point. Unfortunately, Nebraska Wesleyan was able to pull out the victory in game 5, winning 15-12 and overall 3-2 in sets. 

In this game, sophomore Sydney McLaren lead the team with 19 kills, with Katie Serkiz and Hannah Smith close behind with 15 and 12, respectively. Goss was also able to add to her impressive resume, nabbing a career high 38 digs, the 4th time in her career she has reached at least 30. As a whole, the Beavers were able to record double digit kills in the first 4 sets, but only recorded 5 in the last set. The Beavers also lead in the majority of stats for the night, including digs (107-89), assists (53-47), kills (55-51), and aces (8-4). Neither the Prairie Wolves nor the Beavers had a phenomenal hitting percentage, .84 and .96 respectively.

The Beavers move to 2-9 overall and 0-1 in ARC play, while the Prairie Wolves improve to 7-2 overall and 1-0 in ARC play. This gives them the top spot in the ARC standings as of September 19th. The Beavers will stay at home for their next games in their schedule, facing Minnesota Morris (4-8) and Central (9-3, 1-0 ARC). The Minnesota Morris game will begin at 6:30 P.M., and the Central game will begin at 7 P.M. Stay tuned for more Beaver volleyball action!