Bellevue downs Westmont to open Pool Play

Bellevue downs Westmont to open Pool Play
December 1st, 2022 | Bellevue Athletics

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — The Bellevue University volleyball team moved one step closer to advancing at the NAIA National Tournament as the Bruins opened Pool C play by defeating Westmont University 3-1.

Bellevue improves to 28-7 overall and 1-0 in Pool Play. Westmont slips to 24-7 overall and 1-1 in Pool Play; the Warriors defeated Midland University yesterday.

With Westmont and Midland each having one loss in Pool Play, the Bruins are set up to advance to the National Quarterfinals with a victory over Midland tomorrow. A loss would result in a three-way tie and tiebreaking sets.

Olivia Galas led three BU players in recording double-doubles. She quarterbacked the Bruin attack to a .199 hitting percentage with 45 assists and 10 digs to go along with six kills, hitting .312.

Sierra Athen registered 14 kills on .237 hitting and 14 digs and Allie Kerns hit .184 in totaling 10 kills and finishing with 11 digs.

Raeanne Kimoto paced five Bruin defenders in double figures with 20 digs and Brooklyn Hundt added a career-high 12 digs.

Bellevue opened the match strong, grabbing a 9-5 lead to preempt a Westmont timeout. The timeout did little to slow the Bruins momentum as Bellevue rattled of a 10-4 run out of the break to take a commanding 19-9 lead en route to winning the first set by a 25-15 margin.

Westmont bounced back in the second set. With Bellevue leading 14-10, the Warriors took a timeout precipitating a 13-4 scoring spurt – their best of the match – to grab a 23-18 lead. Bellevue scored five of the next six points to close to within a point, 24-23, but Westmont put the set away on the next point.

The Bruins answered in a tighter third set. With an 11-10 lead Bellevue used a 5-1 run to stretch their lead to five points and kept the Warriors at arm’s length until a late burst. Trailing by four, 22-18, Westmont pulled to within two at 24-22 before Kerns shut the door with a kill for set point.

Westmont looked to bounce back in the fourth set, starting strong with a 5-4 lead but that marked the final time the Warriors led. Three-straight attack errors from Westmont started a 6-0 Bruin run which featured kills from both Galas and Athen as BU doubled up the Warriors, 10-5. The lead hovered from four to six the remainder of the match before Sidney Sledge hammered home a match-point kill to give Bellevue a 25-19 lead.

Bellevue’s match against Midland tomorrow is set for a 1 p.m. first serve.

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