After two weekends of wins on day one and losses on day two of tournaments, the Briar Cliff women’s volleyball team avoided the letdown of day two at the Bulldog Bash in Seward, Neb. The Chargers dominated play with sweeps of Waldorf (25-21, 25-12, 25-20) and Bethel (25-17, 25-16, 25-22) on Saturday after taking down Benedictine on Friday night.
Defense was key for the Blue and Gold as the Chargers outblocked opponents 20-6 in Saturday’s two contests and held Waldorf to a negative hitting percentage.
The Warriors came out early and led multiple times throughout the first set but BC managed to stay within three points before four straight points gave the Cliff momentum that the team would never give up.
“We knew they were a good team and we would be put to the test,” said Briar Cliff coach Lindsey Weatherford. “Our offense really started heating up in set two and we performed well.”
Middle blocker Grace Whitlaw stood out against the Warriors, both offensively and defensively. Whitlaw led all players in kills and blocks with nine kills and six blocks (three solo, three block assists).
Even when Waldorf was able to get the ball past the first line of defense of BC’s blockers, the Chargers managed to keep play alive as Grace Hanno and Cassie Clark tied for the team lead in digs at 11. Delaney Meyer added seven digs while splitting setting duties with Maureen Imrie. Imrie finished with 17 assists while Meyer had 11. Imrie also had three of her team’s six aces while the Chargers did not allow a service ace to the Warriors.
In the nightcap Whitlaw finished with six blocks once again to lead all players. Bethel didn’t record a block until late in the third set and finished with two.
Victoria Gonzalez made her presence known with game-high totals in kills (12) and digs (14) against the Threshers. She did not have an attack error in the match and finished with an attack percentage of .571. As a team, Briar Cliff hit .269 while holding Bethel to just .092.
“Bethel is a team that scores points very unconventionally and at times we got caught off guard,” Weatherford said. “We had to adjust to their style of play rather than taking control of our style. We need to work on coming out of the gate strong and keeping our momentum.”
Clark had another double-digit dig performance against Bethel with 12. Briar Cliff held the edge at the service line with nine aces compared to seven for the Threshers. Imrie led the way for the Cliff with four service aces.
Meyer finished with the most assists for BC in game two with 19 while Imrie had 12. The wins improved the Chargers to 6-3 on the year as the team enters conference play this week with a GPAC matchup against Mount Marty. The Chargers and Lancers face off at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Yankton, S.D. Next weekend the Cliff travels to Peru, Neb. for another tournament where BC will meet Bethel once again. That contest is the next on the docket for the Threshers.