Belmont University’s volleyball team wrapped up its debut season in the Missouri Valley Conference with a four-set loss to Murray State University on Wednesday night.
The Bruins clinched a 25-19 victory in the first set but were unable to contain the Racers for the remainder of the match, dropping the final three sets.
“I thought game one we did a nice job, but they also gave us a ton of points and once they stopped making those errors we struggled to perform,” head coach Katelyn Harrison said.
Murray State quickly responded in the second set, securing a 25-16 victory after capitalizing on mistakes made by the Bruins.
Belmont found favor in the early stages of the third set, jumping out to a 14-9 lead but the visiting Racers continued to chip away and edged the Bruins 25-23.
Murray State strategically placed their kills at the line, but the Bruins could not pick it up easily.
As a result, the Racers made the most of their good fortune and cruised to a 25-12 victory in the fourth set, ending Belmont’s season.
“Obviously, you’re never happy with a loss and I think game four was a huge letdown in terms of focus and intentionality, but we came into this match hopefully with some pride,” Harrison said.
With the win, the No. 7 seeded Racers will advance to the MVC tournament.
Belmont’s season concludes in a night where junior Laura Shoopman headlined for the offense, finishing with 13 kills and ten digs.
Shoopman totaled 389 kills for the year, the most a Bruin has made in a single season since Arianna Pearson, who recorded 419 kills in 2017.
Other Bruins who contributed were Brooke Gilleland followed with nine kills, along Ally Peterson and Kristen Clemons, who each had five.
Overall, the Bruins finish the season 11th in the MVC with a record of 8-23 and 4-13 in conference.
“If I said the season went well I would be lying to you and 8-23 is not a record you want, but there were some bright spots that happened throughout the course of this season but unfortunately, we couldn’t string them together enough,” Harrison said.
Belmont volleyball already has its eyes on a bounce back season in 2022-23.
“I look forward to having a better season next year,” Harrison said.
PHOTO: Junior Laura Shoopman rises for a kill. Shoopman had a team high of 13 kills in the final match of the season.
Courtesy of Belmont Athletics.
This article was written by Catarina Da Rocha.