MADISON, S.D. -- Trailing two sets to none the Bellevue University volleyball team came back to force a decisive fifth set but couldn't complete the comeback, falling 3-2 at Dakota State University on Saturday afternoon in North Star Athletic Association action. Dakota State won the match by scores of 25-23, 26-24, 10-25, 13-25, 15-12.
Dakota State won a pair of hotly contested sets to open the match by narrow, two-point margins, 25-23 and 26-24. The Bruins were their own worst enemy in those two sets, committing 15 of their 24 hitting errors during those two sets.
Bellevue responded in dominating fashion in sets three and four, committing just three hitting errors and attacking at a .327 clip, to win by scores of 25-10 and 25-13. The Trojans struggled offensively as they committed 20 errors during the third and fourth sets while hitting at a rate of -.042.
In the fifth, and decisive, set Dakota State got off to a hot start, scoring nine of the first 13 points while the Bruins struggled to receive services and pass. Those struggles led to a match-worst .036 hitting percentage for BU while the Trojans enjoyed their second-best offensive set of the afternoon, hitting .200 and committing just three attack errors.
Sophomore Mikaylah Gillespie recorded a career-high 16 kills and hit .405 to lead the Bruins in both categories. Sophomore Rachel Wald (13 kills) and freshman Marylyn Mozena (10 kills) were also in double figures for the Bruins.
Senior Beth Walker registered her 19th double-double of the season, finishing with 48 assists and 19 digs.
Defensively, sophomore Taylor Holz led five Bruins with double figure digs, finishing the afternoon with 22. Walker, freshman Erin Warren (19 digs), senior Victoria Bowens (12), and sophomore Addison Smith (11) all had double digit dig day. Junior Rachel Barr and freshman Shayla Scanlan finished with career-highs of 12 and 11 blocks, respectively.
The Bruins out-hit Dakota State .198-.106 and held an 87-84 edge in digs but could not win the crucial points when it mattered most.
Bellevue (17-11/2-1 NSAA) is off until Friday, Oct. 16 when they head to Des Moines, Iowa for four matches over two days at the Grand View Tournament. The action starts at noon on Friday with a North Star match against (RV) Jamestown.