Bruin Volleyball falls in North Star semifinal in five-set heartbreaker

Beth Walker notched her 28th double-double with 45 assists and 13 digs
Beth Walker notched her 28th double-double with 45 assists and 13 digs

LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Great play throughout the lineup stake the Bellevue University volleyball team to a 2-1 lead but the Bruins couldn't hold on against the University of Jamestown, falling 3-2 in a North Star Athletic Association semifinal match. Jamestown won by scores of 25-17, 21-25, 20-25, 25-23, 15-11.

The match, despite the loss, was one of the best that the Bruins played from start to finish with head coach Trish Siedlik saying, "We are very proud of the way we played tonight. We hustled and made good adjustments but we just came up a little short."

Three Bruins reached double figures in kills on the night, led by sophomore Rachel Wald's 14. Freshman Marylyn Mozena and Shayla Scanlan added 12 and 11, respectively, while junior Rachel Barr and sophomore Mikaylah Gillespie each chipped in eight.

Senior Beth Walker recorded her team-leading 28th double-double of the year, finishing with 45 assists and 13 digs to go along with six kills. She was one of five Bruins to reach at least 10 digs on the evening, led by sophomore Taylor Holz's 21. Wald contributed 14 while freshmen Erin Warren and Lauren Colpitts each added 11.

Bellevue out-hit Jamestown .194-.184 on the evening and were out-dug by just two but it was the Jimmies that came out victorious.

Heather Bachman led Jamestown with 18 kills while Madison Wendel and Kaitlin Anderson added 12 apiece. Kaia Buck and Aubrey Beaumont both eclipsed the 20-assist mark, finishing with 30 and 23, respectively. Defensively the Jimmies were led by Nicole Warren's 29 digs with Alaina Brown and Beaumont added 19 and 12.

Jamestown (20-10) advances to tomorrow's championship match against the winner of Viterbo-Presentation at 5:30 p.m.

The season has been another in which Bellevue is trying to build for the future with a lot of youth but those freshmen and sophomores have gained a lot of valuable experience that they will take with them moving forward.

"This team had some spectacular moments and we can take this time to sulk and be upset, but happy for the times that we spent with each other, especially Beth and Victoria (Bowens), our seniors. Every day was a great day of volleyball with those two. The will be missed and they leave big shoes to fill," said coach Siedlik.

Bellevue finishes the season with an overall record of 22-18 and will await their fate on selection Sunday to see whether they qualify for the NAIA National Tournament.