BLUFFTON, Ohio—Denison and Bluffton went the distance but the Beavers rallied for the 3-2 (25-22, 22-25, 11-25, 25-18, 15-10) win over the Big Red on Thursday night at the Sommer Center.
With the matched tied 1-1, the Big Red hit .333 in the third set and Bluffton committed eight errors with just seven kills allowing DU to take a 2-1 lead after a 25-11 victory.
In the fourth set, DU was plagued by seven errors and the Beavers added 13 kills and two service aces to tie the match at 2-2. In the decisive fifth set, the Big Red jumped out to a 7-4 lead thanks to back-to-back aces by Emma Woerner. Bluffton responded by taking seven of the next nine points to take an 11-8 lead.
Kills by Denison's Alex Tubbs and Woerner made it a one-point match at 11-10 but Bluffton slammed the door with four consecutive points to lock up the 15-10 win and the match.
Denison was led by senior Leah Reinfranck who finished with 17 kills while hitting at a 31 percent clip. Woerner followed with 10 kills, 14 digs and eight blocks. Tubbs chipped in nine kills and five blocks while Julia Miller finished one shy of her season-high with 42 assists. Denison's libero, Kristin Thewes, posted 39 digs while Amelia Meier, Reinfranck, Woerner and Miller tied with two service aces apiece.
For Bluffton (9-8), Remi Bower and Bethany Martini led the Beavers with 18 kills. Erin Weisgarber had 47 assists and Sydney Mohler posted 23 digs.
Denison returns to action on Sunday, Oct. 1, when they host Hiram at 1 p.m. and Otterbein at 3 p.m. at Livingston Gymnasium.