Sydney McLaren registered 16 kills while Brooke Runneberg added 10, and the Buena Vista volleyball team was just too much for visiting Bethany Lutheran to handle at the net, as the Beavers ran their current win streak to six with a four-set victory on Tuesday night in its 2018 home opener.
BVU had swept the Vikings in eight straight meetings going into tonight's match, and the Beavers looked poised to keep that streak in tact after posting 15 kills in the opening set for a 25-16 victory. Bethany Lutheran, however, held its ground in the second set despite trailing 5-1 in the early going. The Vikings rolled off four straight points to take an 8-7 lead, and the set was back-and-forth from there. The Beavers held a 17-14 lead late in the set but couldn't put the Vikings away, and would drop the set, 25-22.
The Beavers took command of the third set early on by building a 9-3 lead. Bethany Lutheran rolled off four straight points near the end but it was too-little-too-late as BVU took the set, 25-20.
It was all Buena Vista in the fourth set, as the Beavers had 13 kills and just two errors in 26 total attempts for a .385 hitting percentage en route to the 25-12 triumph.
McLaren, this week's Co-American Rivers Conference Offensive Performer of the Week, finished with a strong .282 attack percentage and completed her fifth double-double of the year by adding 12 digs. Runneberg had a .207 percentage on 29 total swings and also chipped in defensively with a match-high five block assists.
Mackenzie Gropel dished out 39 assists and had seven digs while Summer Goss dished out six assists and totaled a match-high 26 digs. Gropel currently leads the American Rivers in assists per set while Goss is third in digs per set.
"Tonight exemplified how things can go south when we dont take care of our side," said head coach Aubrey Havlichek. "Summer had a great match in the back court with 26 digs. As a libero we give her permission to be greedy on defense and she's making the right adjustments. Brooke and Sydney connected at a high efficiency tonight. We've been working hard to speed up our offense, and we finally saw it come together which was refreshing. We know it'll only continue to improve with time."
Buena Vista improves to 7-3 on the year and will look to keep the win streak alive as it begins conference play on Thursday night at Nebraska Wesleyan. Start time in Lincoln, Neb., is set for 7:00pm.