TC volleyball comes up short at Bethel

The Tabor College volleyball team lost a five game heartbreaker against conference-leading Bethel (26-24, 21-25, 25-21, 19-25, 13-15) Wednesday (Oct. 15) in North Newton.

The Bluejays (7-14, 5-6 KCAC) also took the first game from non-conference opponent Southern Nazarene, but was defeated in four games (25-22, 22-25, 21-25, 21-25) in Hillsboro Friday.

Southern Nazarene?senior Ashley Cohlmia led the Tabor attack with 13 kills, while underclassmen Jordan Crosson and Gina Hullet combined for 21.

Defensively, Cohlmia and Audrey Schellenberg each had 15 digs.

Bethel?Tabor trailed by as many as five points, 2-7 and 4-9, in the first game, and did not score consecutive points until the team put together a 3-0 run during senior defensive specialist Clancey Kelley?s serve.

Kelley?s ace made it 7-9, and gave the Bluejays their first shot of momentum. Bethel took the next point, but a sideout put senior setter Audrey Schellenberg at the line to serve.

Schellenberg cut it to 9-10 with an ace and tied it on the next point.

But Bethel pushed back, forcing a Tabor timeout with the Threshers up five at 10-15.

Andrea Batista?s serve brought the Bluejays back immediately, as Tabor closed to 14-15 before Bethel broke the run.

The teams traded sideouts until the Bluejays won back-to-back points on a serve by freshman setter Mandi Phillips and a solo block by Ashley Colhmia.

Tabor took its first lead, 20-19, on the next point, and Bethel called for time.

The game?and the match?turned into a tooth-and-nail brawl after that, with tie scores at 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24.

But, with Phillips serving and the Threshers organization slipping, Tabor took control at 25-24 and claimed a 1-0 lead in the match.

The Bluejays grabbed a 3-1 lead in the second game, but Bethel tied it at 4-4 on the way to putting Tabor in 4-8 hole.

But again the Bluejays did not fade away, rallying on Phillips serve to pull within 14-16. Kelley?s serve cut it to two at 17-19, and Schellenberg tied it at 21-21.

But Bethel scored four straight to even the match at 1-1.

Cohlmia raised her game in the third, recording a kill on the first point and another to snap a 6-6 tie.

After struggling a bit with her serve?s accuracy the first two games, Cohlmia drilled an ace to make it 8-6, and Gina Hullet pounded down the 9-6 kill.

But Bethel bounced back, knotting it at 9 and taking a 2-point lead at 12-14. Sideouts made it 16-17 with Cohlmia serving, and on the strength of three straight kills by Jordan Crosson, Tabor opened up a 19-17 lead.

Bethel broke the rally with a timeout, but the Bluejays maintained their 2-point lead until Cortney Janzen widened it to four with back-to-back kills.

With Tabor needing one more win to claim the match, Bethel played its best game of the night to level it at 2-2.

In the fifth, a Crosson kill knotted the score at 4-4 and Tabor evened it again at 6-6. But Bethel scored back-to-back points to hold the advantage when teams traded sides.

Tabor pulled within two when Carly Kroeker blocked down Bethany Thiesen?s attack.

But the decisive point came at 9-12, when the Bethel defense blocked three consecutive Bluejay attacks to push it to 9-13.

Tabor won the next point, and continued to play with ferocity,

The Bluejays pulled within a point on a cross-court kill by Cohlmia, and knotted it at 13-13 when Kari Thimm?s attack sailed long, but the 4-point deficit proved too much to overcome.

For Bethel, Thimm had 21 kills, Thiesen had 15, and Lindsey Oliver had 14 and five blocks.

For Tabor, Janzen and Colhmia each had 13 kills. Cohlmia and Crosson each had three blocks.

Coming?The Bluejays (7-14, 5-6 KCAC) visited Ottawa (3-24, 2-10) Tuesday and host Saint Mary (13-11, 7-4) at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Riding a streak of five straight wins, Saint Mary leapfrogged Tabor into fourth place in the conference standings last week.

Tabor hosts Southwestern (7-11, 4-6) at 7 p.m. Oct 27.

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