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Bruin Blitz: 8/25-9/01

Cross Country

8/29 Belmont Opener @ Percy Warner Park

Belmont men’s and women’s cross country teams opened up their season Friday just around the corner at Percy Warner Park’s five kilometer course. The women came in seventh and the men earned a second-place finish behind Purdue and Middle Tennessee State.

Freshman Evan Stifel led the Bruins pack finishing sixth place with the time of 15:18.13. Behind Stifel was fellow newcomer Kaden Eaton who finished 10th overall (15:26.65).

Seniors David Everett and John Sharpe finished 17th (15:40.12) and 18th (15:43.03), respectively. Sophomore Alex Mimlitz completed the course at 15:47.36 for a 21st place finish, closing out the scoring five for the Bruins.

For the women, junior Hannah Wittman was one of the only non-Vanderbilt runners to finish in the top ten, finishing ninth overall with a time of 18:02.99. Following Wittman was sophomore Molly Foster who finished 32nd and freshman Kiera Weems who placed 40th.

Junior Maggie Harah and sophomore Hannah Denton both finished in the scoring five for Belmont.

The Bruins will compete on Sept. 13 at Vanderbilt’s Commodore Classic.

Women’s soccer (2-0-1)

8/29 v. Indiana State @ Rose Park

On yet another sweltering day at Rose Park, the Belmont women’s soccer team encountered multiple ups and downs on their way to an eventual 1-1 tie in overtime against non-conference foe Indiana State.

Despite the conditions, the Bruins still managed to create 35 shots, 16 of which were targeted on goal. Indiana State’s Brittany San Roman recorded 15 saves on the afternoon while Belmont’s Lindsey Epse had six saves of her own.

When the teams entered the second half looking to break a 0-0 deadlock, a moment came shortly in the 48th minute for Indiana State.

Sophomore Maddie Ort was able to poke one in on a ball that bounced around in the Bruins’ box after a corner kick. This gave the Sycamores the first tally on the board, putting them up 1-0.

Minutes later, Belmont tied the game back up when Taylor Smith crossed the ball in from the right side and found Meg Howard wide open in front of the goal. Howard then headed the ball past keeper San Roman to tie the game up in the 55th minute.

During the overtime periods, neither team could find its footing as little to none possession was held by either the Bruins or the Sycamores. Ultimately the final buzzer rang and all of the effort contributed by both teams resulted in a 1-1 tie.

With the draw, Belmont fell to 2-0-1 on the season. The team will make a one game trek to Alabama to take on Samford on Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 pm.

-Beau McGinnis

Men’s soccer (0-2-0)

8/29 v. South Carolina

In the first regular season game under new head coach Bryan Green, the men’s soccer team couldn’t outlast perennial power South Carolina in a 1-0 double overtime loss to the Gamecocks on Friday.

Belmont keeper Grayson Rector made several spectacular saves to help force the game into extra time including one in the dwindling seconds of regulation.

In the first overtime period, the Bruins had the chance to win the game when senior Tyler Vieth sent a low cross into forward Rashad Hyacenth. However the shot barely missed wide off the freshman’s left-foot.

The gamewinner for South Carolina came in the 104th minute after Kurtis Turner sent a rebound shot past Rector for the score.

8/31 @ Kentucky

Belmont continued their Southeastern Conference road trip to Kentucky on Sunday where the Bruins fell to the Wildcats 2-0.

Despite the score, the Bruins went toe-to-toe in the first half against the Wildcats and created several opportunities to take an early lead.

Sophomore defender Nat Hubert found an open Diego Figueroa down the right side but the midfielder couldn’t maintain possession inside the box. Seconds later, fellow senior midfielder Luca Schioppa found Hyacenth near the six yard box; however, the freshman’s header was sent too high.

After not recording a goal all season, Kentucky found its stride and scored twice on Belmont within a 13 minute period of play. The 2-0 lead would prove to be too much for the Bruins, whose record fell to 0-2 on the season.

Belmont continues its road trip on Friday when the Bruins take on the Purple Aces of Evansville at 7 p.m.

-Courtney Martinez

Volleyball (1-2)

2014 Belmont Invitational

8/29 v. Kennesaw State @ the Curb Event Center

In front of a rowdy home crowd during the season opener, the Belmont volleyball team lost in four sets to former Atlantic Sun rival Kennesaw State Friday night at the Curb Event Center.

The first set was a constant back and forth in an exciting match, and neither team got more than a two to three point lead. Though it was close, Belmont ultimately lost 22-25.

The Bruins showed they were determined to win in the second set and they ultimately won 25-13.

During the third set, Kennesaw State came back with vengeance and the game returned to a back and forth match. In an exciting exchange of intense rallies, Kennesaw State won 34-36.

The invitational continued the next day for the Bruins against Youngstown State.

-Ashley Castle

8/30 v. Youngstown State

The Bruins lost a tough three-set match to new competitor Youngstown State to open up the final day of the 2014 Belmont Invitational.

The first set began as a back and forth match but YSU went on a streak, scoring eight of the next ten points to pull ahead and finish off the set 25-19.

The second and third sets had similar starts and eventual outcomes, both ending with the score 25-18.

Senior Scarlet Gable led the Bruins with seven kills in addition to 10 digs and two aces. Leading in digs for the Bruins was Freshman Ellie Ivancich with 17 while junior setter Regan Kennamer tallied 18 assists.

8/30 v. Evansville

Behind the play of the team’s newcomers, Tony Howell picked up his first career win as a head coach on Saturday night with a five-set win over Evansville.

Newcomers lead the way in the final game of the Belmont Invitational against Evansville as Belmont edged Evansville in a close five sets (25-23, 20-25, 15-25, 25-18, 15-12).

Belmont’s freshman shined in the final set with kills from true freshman Ellie Ivancich and Arianna Person along with redshirt freshman Emma Price helping propel Belmont to the 15-12 victory.

Person, who earned her first double-double performance of her career with 14 kills and 13 digs, and sophomore Jessica Vestal both recorded three service aces for the Bruins.

Price made her mark on the match with her setting as she finished with a team-high 35 assists, and Ivancich stood out on the defensive end, leading the team with 21 digs.

Freshman Brie Lewis almost had a double-double with 10 kills and nine digs while junior Jocelyn Youngdahl had an impressive hitting percentage of .350 with 10 kills on 20 total attacks in addition to five blocks.

Person and Gable were both honored as part of the 2014 Belmont Invitational All-Tournament Team.

Belmont returns to action tonight with their first road match of the season at Western Kentucky at 7 p.m.

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