Volleyball advances to HCAC semis with 3-0 win over Bluffton

Julia Stewart

RICHMOND, Ind. – The third-seeded Earlham College volleyball team will advance to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Volleyball Tournament semifinals for the second consecutive year after a 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-20) win over sixth-seeded Bluffton University, on Wednesday evening at the Druley Performance Gym.

The Quakers will now play no. 2 seed Hanover College on Saturday, Nov. 9, at Transylvania University's Clive Beck Center. Earlham and Hanover will meet in Saturday's second semifinal starting at 5:00 p.m.

Junior Julia Stewart led Earlham (19-8) with 13 kills on 34 attacks with a .235 attack percentage, and completed the double-double with a team-high 13 digs. Stewart also served up three aces on the night. Sophomore Caroline Mulvihill was the only other Earlham hitter in double digits with 12 terminations on 24 error-free attacks.

As a team, the Quakers hit .191 for the match.

Four players logged double-digit dig totals. In addition to Stewart, senior setter Lauren Jackson and senior libero Sydney Ameluxen each charted 12 digs, while Jennifer Shamel turned iup 11 digs on the night.

Jackson finished the night with 30 assists, but hit a milestone with Earlham's third point of the match. Her assist on sophomore Abbey Zanatta's kill to put the Quakers at 3-1 in set one was Jackson's 4000th career assist, making her only the sixth player at an HCAC institution to reach that benchmark. Jackson will head into the HCAC semifinals with 4,028 career assists.

Bluffton (7-24) was led offensively by Remi Bower with nine kills, with Sarah Heydinger chipping in with seven terminations. The Beavers hit just .068 for the match.

Maddie White sprawled for a match-high 14 digs to lead Bluffton.