Bethel KO?s Bluejays in KCAC semifinals


Maggie Stephenson blocks away a hit by Tabor?s Cortney Janzen in the first game of the Threshers? 25-19, 25-13, 25-17 win Friday.

Having advanced to the semifinals as the tournament's top seed in part due to a dominate regular season and in part due to a thorough victory over McPherson in the quarterfinals, the Tabor College volleyball team was outplayed by Bethel Friday night in Hillsboro.

The Bluejays entered with all-conference honors including superlatives from the conference for "player of the year" Ashley Cohlmia and "setter of the year" Mandilyn Philips and as well as recognition for Tina Frick (first team), Gina Hullet (second team) and Carly Kroeker (second team).

But Bethel gave no quarter based on accolades, and beat the Bluejays in straight sets (25-19, 25-13, 25-17).

The Threshers took a 2-0 lead in the first game and held an advantage on the scoreboard through much of the night. With a kill by Tina Frick, Tabor tied the first game at 7-7 but trailed by as many as six before Jordan Crosson's ace prompted a Bethel timeout at 21-17.

The Threshers closed the first set with four of the final six points, then rattled off seven of the eight starting the second game. The Threshers advanced their lead to 16-5 and blunted every Bluejays counter en route to a 2-0 lead in the match.

Tabor trailed the final set of its season by a 10-5 score.

Earlier, Friends defeated Sterling (25-23, 22-25, 26-24, 25-15); Friends beat Bethel in a five-game final (12-25, 25-17, 21-25, 25-16, 15-9) on Saturday. The Falcons will play in the national tournament, which begins Saturday at Bellevue (Neb.).

McPherson?Tabor made short work of the Bulldogs in the Tuesday night quarterfinal of the KCAC postseason tournament. The Bluejays won in three games (25-17, 25-13, 25-14) behind a front line that killed or blocked almost every ball within an arm's length of the net.

Particularly devastating were the hits by Tina Frick, who ramped Tabor's lead to 22-16 near the end of a closely-contested first set. The Bluejays smashed the Bulldogs without hesitation in the second game, developing a 14-5 lead and cruising to a 12-point win.

The third game presented no twists, as Tabor opened a 7-2 gap and methodically increased the pressure until McPherson broke, at 20-10. Tabor won the final two points of the night on blocks.

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