Bruin Blitz 9/17-9/23
2014 Bruin Classic
Sept. 20 v. Wright State
The Belmont volleyball team got off to a strong start in the 2014 Bruin Classic with a win in four sets against Wright State Friday night.
Arianna Person led the team in both kills and digs while Scarlet Gable and Brie Lewis tied for the team lead with four service aces each. Emma Price recorded 38 of the team’s 43 assists.
The first set was highly contested, but a run of six straight points, including three service aces by Gable, gave the Bruins a 12-5 lead. The Bruins would go on to win the set 25-17.
The third set proved to be even more competitive as there were a total of eight ties between the two teams. A block by Person and Alex Martin to make the score 11-10 would end up swinging the momentum Belmont’s way as they went on to maintain their lead and win the set 25-17.
The two teams continued to play back and forth in the fourth set as Belmont built a lead early, but Wright State fought back and kept the score close. The Bruins would go on to win the set 25-22, closing out a very competitive match.
The Bruins tied a season high with 10 service aces over the course of the match bringing their total for the season to 51. Gable leads the team with 15 aces on the year.
Sept. 20 v. Northern Kentucky
In its first match of the day in the Bruin Classic, the Belmont volleyball team could not find its rhythm in a three-set sweep to Northern Kentucky Saturday morning at the Curb Event Center.
The Bruins managed to complete a low .050 hitting percentage in the match compared to the .211 hitting percentage for the Norse overall.
In the opening moments of the first set, Belmont raced off to a 5-1 start, including a service ace from Alex Martin. Behind the physical play in the front row, NKU battled back to tie the set.
A pair of blocks gave the Norse a 13-6 lead midway through the set and the eventual set 25-19 after consecutive attacking errors from Belmont.
Despite being down 2-0 in the match, Belmont would not go down without a fight in the third set. After the Norse built an early 11-6 lead, the Bruins strung together a versatile attack with a 7-1 run to retake the lead.
NKU rallied with five straight points to regain control of the match. Although the Bruins tied the set again, the Norse completed the sweep after winning five of the last six points in the match.
Junior Jocelyn Youngdahl led the Bruins with eight kills while freshman Brie Lewis compiled a match-best .462 hitting percentage. Libero Ellie Ivancich finished the match with 15 digs.
Sept. 20 v. Liberty
Despite forcing a fourth set, Belmont finished the Bruin Classic with a 3-1 loss to Liberty on Saturday night.
After going down two sets early, Belmont used a marathon third set to extend the match with help from Arianna Person and Emma Price. A crucial kill by Person and a service ace from Price ended the back-and-forth game between the teams and gave the Bruins the set, 32-30.
In the fourth set, Liberty responded with an early 6-2 advantage. Belmont tied the set at 12 but Liberty fought back with six of the seven points to build a 18-13 advantage.
The Bruins fought hard but never got closer than two points for the rest of the match, and the Lady Flames took the final set 25-19.
Person recorded a double-double with 18 kills and 16 digs. Both were career-highs for the freshman.
Price earned her second double-double in the last three matches with a match-best 41 assists along with 12 digs.
Liberty’s attack percentage was .223 compared to Belmont’s .189.
Person and Jocelyn Youngdahl earned All-Tournament honors for the weekend.
Belmont starts their conference season Sept. 26 with a match against Eastern Kentucky at 5:30 p.m. in the Curb Event Center.
Men’s Soccer (1-7)
Sept. 19 v. Houston Baptist
In its first match of the Hyatt Place Select Lipscomb Invitational, the men’s soccer team fell in a 4-0 contest to Houston Baptist Friday night.
Stefan Lamanna scored the first goal in the fourth minute after scoring on a corner kick opportunity.
After the first goal, Belmont settled down and possessed well. Belmont’s strongest opportunities came from freshman Rashad Hyacenth and senior Luca Schippa.
Belmont outshot the Huskies, 7-6, in the first half with sophomore goalkeeper Grayson Rector having a fairly easy job.
Houston Baptist struck three times in 10 minutes to start off the second half. The Huskies produced 12 shots compared to the Bruins’ four in the second half.
Sept. 21 v. Memphis
The team was unable to bounce back from Friday’s tough loss as it fell to Memphis 3-0 on Sunday to finish off the invitational.
The Tigers struck early in the sixth minute when Benjamin Ciosanski connected with Hector Cantele to give Memphis an early 1-0 lead.
With the team looking for an equalizer, Belmont blasted seven shots and four corner kicks over a 20-minute span led by freshman Rashad Hyancenth and Adriano Balani. However, Memphis goalkeeper Cody Uzcategui kept the Bruins off the scoreboard.
In the 27th minute, Cantele scored again to give Memphis a two goal lead, and Fakhry Khulfan scored on a rebound three minutes into the second half.
Hyacenth and Balani earned All-Tournament team honors.
Belmont opens conference play Friday in its first official game as members of the Horizon League. The Bruins will host Valparaiso at E.S. Rose Park with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
Women’s Soccer (3-3-2)
The women’s soccer team closed out its non-conference schedule with a 2-0 loss to Evansville Friday afternoon.
The Purple Aces scored the first goal of the afternoon in the 16th minute off a corner kick. Belmont earned a free kick in the 33rd minute for the chance to equalize. However, freshman Belicia Mendiola couldn’t connect from midfield as the shot was blocked inside the box.
The Bruins continued to press forward with back-to-back shots on goal within the first four minutes of the second half. Less than 10 minutes later, a shot by junior Emily Proud could have tied the game but it barely collided with the crossbar.
Evansville sealed the victory with another goal off a corner kick in the 74th minute.
Belmont held a 13-2 advantage in the shot column while Evansville led in corner kicks 5-2.
The Bruins open OVC play on Friday hosting Morehead State. The match is set for 4 p.m. at E.S. Rose Park.
The men’s golf team placed sixth in the Memphis Intercollegiate on Sept. 15-16. Junior Ashton Van Horne finished third in the individual category.
Belmont earned a sixth place finish with a combined 54-hole score of 885, including a shot total of 298 (+10) in the final round of Tuesday.
Van Horne shot 71 in the final round for a total score of 214 for his second top-five outing of the season. With his performance, the junior also earned OVC Golfer of the Week honors.
The team returns to action on Oct. 6-7 in the Bearcat Invitational in Hebron, Ky.
Behind the play from junior transfer Robin Demasse, the men’s tennis team produced a strong outing in the MTSU Dale Short Shootout held in Murfreesboro.
Demasse went undefeated in the single matches throughout the weekend including a win in straight sets over Austin Peay’s Manuel Montenegro on Saturday.
In addition to Demasse, sophomore Cedric Dujacquier also played well for the Bruins with a 2-1 record over the weekend. He defeated Austin Peay’s Iago Seffin in straight sets on Saturday but fell to Victor Hoang of MTSU 7-5 in a match cut short by the weather on Sunday.
In the doubles events, all three of Belmont’s pairs went 1-2 throughout the shootout. The team returns to action on Oct. 3-5 in the UTC/Baras Classic held in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The women’s tennis team started off the 2014 season at the Austin Peay Fall Classic. Freshman Suzanna Stapler and junior Ann Lauren Fiepke led the Bruins in the tournament.
After dropping her first match, Stapler rallied with three straight wins in her first collegiate tournament, including a straight set victory over UT-Martin’s Jessica Silva.
Fiepke also won consecutive matches after dropping her first match on Friday for a 2-1 record over the weekend.
The team returns to action on Oct. 4 against Austin Peay and North Alabama.
Emily Proud contributed to this report.