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Eagles soar over Bruins in straight sets

In a tense Ohio Valley Conference home opener, the Belmont volleyball team fell to last year’s regular season champion Morehead State in straight sets Friday night.

Morehead entered the night’s contest 52-2 in OVC play for the past three seasons.

“We expected Morehead to be very good, and they were,” said coach Deane Webb. “Their libero was tremendous all night long, dug a ton of balls and may have been the best player in the gym tonight.”

The Bruins (7-10, 0-1), who defeated the Eagles in the 2012 OVC championship, struck first but quickly fell behind a 10-point Morehead rally that remained a chip on the team’s shoulder for the remainder of the evening. Consecutive kills by Scarlet Gable combined with a Jen Myer ace re-energized the Belmont offensive attack, but it would fall short as the Eagles took the set 25-18.

Gable finished the evening leading the Bruins with 31 attack attempts and 11 digs.

“We started out flat, fell 13-3 and had a hard time getting anything going,” Webb said.

In the second set, the Bruins maintained a lead until point 18 where an Eagle kill from Hannah Sigala transferred momentum to Morehead State.

“We came out a lot more focused, and took a big lead up 18-13, and had some unforced errors,” Webb said. “We didn’t always block the way we were supposed to block with our assignments but we did a much better job as the match went on.”

Unlike the previous sets, Morehead was the first to score and kept a lead until the 14th point. From there, the teams would battle through eight ties until an attack error by Myer combined with a kill by Morehead’s Alex Fitzmorris sealed the victory for the Eagles.

“It was certainly good volleyball on both sides, but when it came down to the moments where we needed to run our middles, we weren’t consistent enough and that’s something we’ll need to address,” Webb said.

Belmont returns to OVC action on Saturday when they host the Eastern Kentucky Colonels at 2 p.m. at the Curb Event Center.

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