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Bruin Blitz 9/26-9/30

Women’s Soccer (3-3-4, OVC 0-0-2)

Sept. 26 v. Morehead State

Facing off against the defending conference champion, the Belmont women’s soccer team battled to a 2-2 draw in an overtime thriller against Morehead State Friday afternoon.

Belmont wasted little time trying to find the scoreboard when midfielder Tara Austin almost scored 30 seconds into the contest. The freshman’s header barely bounced off the crossbar and in between the goal line.

Belmont was finally rewarded for its efforts when Meredith Martin finished a header off a cross to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute.

While the Bruins came out strong to start the game, the momentum shifted in favor of the Eagles during the second half. Morehead State finally found the back of the net with a goal by Angela Black on a strange bounce in the 66th minute.

With less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation, Black scored her second goal to give the Eagles their first lead of the afternoon.

Junior Sydney Omweg created a breakaway chance for the Bruins, but a flagrant foul by Kelsey Gomez prevented the forward from scoring. The Eagles defender received a straight red card, forcing Morehead State to play a man down for the remainder of the game.

On the subsequent free kick, Belicia Mendiola curved a shot into the top shelf of the goal for the equalizer with less than two minutes to go, sending the game into overtime.

While the first overtime period saw little offensive action, both teams had equal opportunity to find the game winner. With eight minutes and 30 seconds remaining, another unfortunate crossbar bounce denied the Bruins again, this time on the shot from Omweg.

The match eventually ended in the 2-2 draw.

Sept. 28 v. EKU

Another overtime battle ended in a tie for the women’s soccer team against OVC opponent Eastern Kentucky at E.S. Rose Park Sunday afternoon.

The team started off strong at the opening whistle, earning a corner kick in the first 19 seconds of action. Belmont continued to dominate the game in all aspects including possession, shots and corner kicks.

Although Belmont outshot its opponent, the Colonels still had a few moments of dangerous attack.

Eastern Kentucky started the second half like the Bruins opened the match, but its immediate attack attempt was called offsides.

The Bruins regained possession and ultimate control of the match. Belmont’s best chance came in the 83rd minute when sophomore Meg Howard fired a shot, but it soared wide right.

Belmont kept consistent possession, but for the fifth time this season, the match went into overtime.

The Bruins shined in overtime outshooting EKU 11-0 in both periods. Despite the many chances, Belmont was unable to get by Anna Hall who recorded 14 saves on the day.

Belmont outshot the Colonels 27-6 and dominated corner kicks 10-1. Junior Cassie Blase lead the Bruins with six shots, followed by Howard with four. Junior Lindsey Espe stayed strong in front of the net, recording three saves for the match.

The Bruins are on the road Friday, Oct.3 at Eastern Illinois. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.

Men’s Soccer (1-8, Horizon 0-1)

Sept. 26 v. Valparaiso

In its opening Horizon League conference match, the Belmont men’s soccer team was unable to come back from an early two-goal deficit and ultimately fell to Valparaiso 2-1 at E.S. Rose Park Friday night.

After maintaining strong possession for the beginning of the first half, Zev Taublieb capitalized off a rebound and gave the Crusaders an early 1-0 lead in the 13th minute.

The Bruins tried to attack by sending deep passes to forwards, but the Valpo defense stayed strong and headed the attempts away.

In the 30th minute, Jacob Gandarilla cut through two Belmont defenders and hit a powerful strike past true freshman Wes Luvisi to extend the Crusaders’ lead 2-0.

The goal finally came for the Bruins in the 60th minute off a perfectly chipped ball by senior Diego Figueroa, who sent it right over the keeper and into the Valpo net. Campbell did everything he could to save the shot but it was unreachable.

Belmont had a final chance to tie it up after great play from Arnold in the 87th minute, but the dominant Valpo keeper came up with the grab.

The Crusaders’ possession game came back strong in the final minutes of the game to close out the match and the win.

Belmont travels Wednesday to face Wright State in Dayton, Ohio. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

Volleyball (5-10, OVC 1-1)

Sept. 25 v. EKU

The Belmont volleyball team started its conference schedule with a five-set loss to Eastern Kentucky Friday night at the Curb Event Center.

Freshman Ariana Person earned a double-double with a career-high 21 kills and 14 digs. Emma Price finished with a career-high 54 assists while freshman libero Ellie Ivancich led the Bruins with 25 digs on the evening.

After trailing 15-13 midway through the first set, the Bruins scored four of six points including a service ace from Regan Kennamer to tie the match at 17. Belmont rallied again on a 8-1 run to take the set 25-23.

Middle blocker Jocelyn Youngdahl led the Belmont attack in the first set with five kills.

EKU responded in the second set and started off with a 7-3 advantage. Although the Bruins pulled within a point, the Colonels produced a 6-0 run to increase its lead 18-11.

The Bruins were able to cut the lead down to three, but a EKU kill ended the set and tied the match.

Both teams battled back and forth for majority of the third set as neither team could build a strong lead. Belmont eventually produced a 3-0 run to pull ahead 22-19 and went on to claim the set 25-23 on a block from Brie Lewis.

EKU responded once again in the fourth set and its .270 set hitting percentage allowed the Colonels to claim the set 25-19.

Like the third set earlier in the match, the fifth set proved to be back and forth battle between the teams. After the set open with a 10-10 tie, the Colonels pulled ahead by three points until the Bruins tied it back up .

However, EKU earned the final two points to win the set 16-14 and the match 3-2.

Sept. 27 v. Morehead State

Coming off a tough loss in its conference opener, the Belmont volleyball team rebounded with an impressive three-set sweep against Morehead State Saturday afternoon.

Tony Howell earned his first conference win as a head coach and the Bruins improved their overall record to 5-10 and 1-1 in conference.

The Bruins worked to regain the lead in the first set, but the Eagles stood their ground and held the largest lead of the set for either team at 16-19, forcing the Bruins to call a timeout. Belmont came out of the huddle strong scoring two consecutive points. A kill from Ariana Person tied it up 19-19, forcing the Eagles to use their first timeout.

The Bruins didn’t stop there as they proceeded on a 6-0 run to earn their largest lead of the set thus far at 22-19. Two consecutive kills from Person and an impressive dig by the freshman libero Ellie Ivancich closed out the set 25-19 in favor of the Bruins.

The Eagles came out with an early 3-1 lead in the second set and continued to hold the lead for the majority of the second set.

Belmont kept pushing and tied the game six times before regaining the lead at 15-14 off an Eagle attacking error. A kill from Person ended the set, and Belmont went into the locker room with a comfortable two-set lead.

Belmont, clearly looking to end the game in three sets, gained an 11-point lead over the Eagles, 15-4, forcing Morehead to use their last timeout. Although the Eagles battled to close the gap, the Bruins proved too strong and another Person kill ended the set and the match in favor of Belmont.

Alex Martin came out with a team-high nine kills but Scarlet Gable, Maddie Croft and Person were not far behind, all with eight.

The Bruins travel a short distance down the road Tuesday to face Tennessee State at 6 p.m.

Women’s Golf

Chris Banister Classic

Sept. 28-30

After the first round of the Chris Bannister Classic Sunday, the Belmont women’s golf team holds the 10th place position at the RTJ Silver Lakes Golf Course in Alabama.

The Bruins recorded a team score of 331 while Troy leads the field with a 305 score.

Sydney Hudson led the Bruins on the afternoon with a scorecard of 77, which ties her currently for 12th place. The senior is only four shots behind the individual leaders, who all carded a 73 on Sunday.

In the individual round, freshman Mallory Sullivan is tied for 12th place after shooting a 77.

After the second round finished Monday afternoon, Belmont moved up one spot to ninth place with its team score of 313. Troy still remains in first with a combined team score of 608.

Hudson recorded another round of 77 to end the day tied for 11th place. Sullivan is tied for 14th in the individual competition.

The final round takes place Tuesday.

Cross Country

Sept. 27  Cowboy Classic at Oklahoma State

The Belmont cross country teams recorded their best finishes of the season at the 78th annual Cowboy Classic hosted by Oklahoma State.

The men’s team finished second overall with 61 points in the 8K race while the women’s team placed fourth overall with 85 points in the 5K race.

Senior John Sharpe stood out for Belmont with a time of 26:10.75 to finish 12th and the only runner outside the host team to place in the top 12. Fellow senior David Everett was the other runner inside the top 15 not from Oklahoma State with a 14th place finish and 26:31.97 time.

For the women’s team, junior Hannah Wittman had no trouble with the 5K course to record a second place finish with a time of 18:16.70. Freshman Kiera Weems and junior Jessie Wynn also notched top 20 performances from the field of 40 runners.

Wittman and Sharpe were honored as OVC Runners of the Week on Tuesday, marking the first time Belmont has swept the weekly awards.

Cross country will hit the road for the Greater Louisville Classic held on Oct. 4.

Courtney Martinez contributed to this report.

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