The Buena Vista volleyball team reached the midway point of the American Rivers Conference schedule on Friday night, and after its thrilling five-set road victory at the University of Dubuque, the Beavers find themselves tied atop the league standings with the Spartans at 3-1.
BVU came out strong with 17 kills and just four attack errors in the opening set en route to a 25-21 victory. The Spartans then forced the Beavers into 10 attack errors in the second and even the match with a 25-19 win. After facing set point in the third, the Beavers then saw Dubuque rally with three straight points to end the frame and take a 2-1 lead with a 27-25 triumph.
The Beavers found a way to fight back in the fourth set with 12 kills while forcing Dubuque into 11 attack errors en route to a 25-21 victory to force the decisive fifth set. Dubuque appeared to be in control in the final frame, building an 8-3 lead, but BVU came back in a big way. The Beavers rolled off three straight points to get within 8-6, and after consecutive points from the Spartans, BVU took advantage of a pair of bad sets by Dubuque and scored five straight points to tie things up at 11-11. From there, it was back-and-forth the rest of the way. Dubuque faced match-point six times, but BVU had an answer each time and ultimatley fought until it rolled off the final two points for the 23-21 win.
Kylie Roe had a monster night with a career-high 29 kills which ties Jade Schaap for the third-highest total in BVU history. She also had 69 total attacks and capped off her double-double with 16 digs. Brooke Runneberg had 13 kills and three solo blocks. Sydney McLaren was held to only seven kills but came through with a career-best 22 digs. Summer Goss tallied a match-high 31 digs while Mackenzie Gropel had another double-double with 54 assists and 13 digs.
"Tonight was the definition of toughness," said head coach Aubrey Havlichek. "We dialed in and stayed consistent with the game plan. Everyone on the team was essential to that win and we did great doing our individual jobs to be successful as a whole. We are beaten up, we have only eight players, and yet they keep digging deep and finding a way to fight."
The Beavers are now 10-7 overall (3-1 A-R-C) and climb up into a first-place tie with the Spartans as they enter their match at Loras College (12-7, 1-2 A-R-C) on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. That will be the team's final conference road outing of the season, as it closes out the regular season with three straight home matches against league foes.