DEFIANCE, OH – The Bluffton University volleyball team finished a magical run through the HCAC tournament and defeated No. 5 seed Hanover, 25-16, 25-22, 22-25, 25-11, on Sunday afternoon to claim the school's second Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament title. The No. 6 seed Beavers (16-18) will advance to the NCAA Division III tournament by virtue of claiming the conference's automatic bid.
Against the Panthers, sophomore Kendra Parmenter (Grove City, Ohio/H.S.) led the way with 24 kills and four digs. Sophomore Brooke Ruffer (Stryker, Ohio/H.S.) added a triple-double with 10 kills, 13 digs, and 35 assists in the title match.
Bluffton advanced to Sunday's championship match by defeating No. 3 seed Mount St. Joseph 3-2 on Tuesday and No. 2 seed Transylvania 3-2 in the semifinals Saturday evening. The Beavers trailed 2-0 in both matches before rallying with three straight set victories.
Parmenter was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player after strong performances throughout the week. Joining her on the All-Tournament Team from the Beavers was Brooke Ruffer and Hailey Phillips (Malinta, Ohio/Patrick Henry).
The remaining members of the all-tournament team consisted of Hanover's Kylie Justus (Crawfordsville, Ind./H.S.) and Rachel Hasewinkel (Sheridan, Ind./Zionsville), Defiance's Bree Anderson (Huntertown, Ind./Carroll) and Transylvania's Meghan Bowers (Louisville, Ky./Presentation).
Bluffton will take part in regional play on November 15-17. The Beavers will find out their site and opponent Monday morning when the NCAA releases their brackets. The finals will be held November 21-23 at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.
HCAC Tournament MVP: Kendra Parmenter, Bluffton
Bluffton Head Coach Steve Yarnell