Bruins down Lady Govs in four sets
In arguably one of the most exciting matches of their season, the Belmont volleyball team battled the Austin Peay Lady Governors to a three sets to one win Tuesday night at the Curb Event Center.
“It was a really good win. I was very, very impressed with Austin Peay’s team, ” said head coach Deane Webb. “This team was good and we knew they were going to be good. We knew it would take a great effort tonight.”
The Bruins led the majority of the first set until the Lady Governors rallied behind a five-point scoring run, taking the first set 25-22. Austin Peay outside hitter Nikki Doyle racked up seven kills in the set.
“Nikki Doyle, she’s outstanding,” Webb said. “She’s one of the better outside hitters we’ve seen this year, and I’m impressed at what she did.”
In an nearly exact role reversal, Belmont found themselves down to Austin Peay up to the middle of the second set before eventually taking set 25-21. The Bruins also improved their attacking percentage from a mere .068 to a .250, with sophomore Scarlet Gable attaining 13 digs before the half.
“I think the kid that really set the tone for the match early on though, and it’s a kid that if you look at the stats, and who had the best night attacking, it was Scarlet,” Webb said. “She just dug so many balls, and just really flew around the court, and as the match went on, other people started coming along.”
The fight continued in the third set as the Bruins and Lady Governors experienced 14 ties before Belmont took the set 26-24.
“They were just good enough that we knew we had to be great to win. It was not a match that we thought was going to be a quick match. It was going to be a battle. They’ve been a little up and down this year, but when they’ve been up, they’ve been outstanding.” Webb said.
Belmont dominated the fourth set 25-16 under the continued leadership of Gable, Jamie Lundstrom and Hannah Miranda, who completed a combined 50 digs for the evening.
Part of the night’s energy and success can be attributed to finally overcoming preseason injuries.
“This is the time where we’re making a conscious effort to get healthier as a team, to get rest,” Webb said. “We, as a coaching staff, made a decision to really, really scale back on the time we are spending in the gym,” said Webb.
The Bruins will try to keep their momentum rolling as they continue their four-game conference home stand against Murray State Thursday night. The win improved Belmont’s overall record t0 11-14 and conference record to 7-4.