Bellevue Volleyball splits at Red Raider Classic

Rachel Wald led the Bruin attack with 21 kills on .304 hitting
Rachel Wald led the Bruin attack with 21 kills on .304 hitting

ORANGE CITY, Iowa -- A pair of 3-1 matched saw the Bellevue University volleyball team split with a pair of GPAC opponents on the first day of the 2016 Red Raider Classic, hosted by Northwestern College.

The Bruins upset #13 Dordt, 3-1 (26-24, 14-25, 25-20, 25-19) in their first match of the day before being upended by Morningside by a 3-1 (19-25, 20-25, 25-21, 21-25) count in their second game of the day. BU now sits at 3-3 on the season.

Bellevue plays two more matches tomorrow against Briar Cliff (9 a.m.) and #24 Northwestern (1 p.m.) to wrap up an eight-game road trip to open their season.

Bellevue 3, #13 Dordt (26-24, 14-25, 25-20, 25-19)

Bellevue picked up their first signature win of the 2016 season with an impressive 3-1 victory over Dordt in the first game of the Red Raider Classic and of the Defenders' season.

Despite being out-hit .170-.139 and out-dug 66-53 on the match, the Bruins were able to top the Defenders and move over the .500-mark early in the season.

BU won a nail-biter in the opening set but couldn't contain the Dordt attack in the second as the Defenders hit .429 as a team. The Bruins responded in set three hitting a team-best .370 in the set to take a critical 2-1 lead. Much like the third set, the fourth was also a close affair but BU emerged victorious after out-hitting Dordt by better than 100 points.

Rachel Wald racked up a team-best nine kills and hit .333 for the match. Shayla Scanlan added seven kills while Hope Lambrecht and Mikaylah Gillespie both chipped in six. Maddie Squiers set the pace for the offense with 31 assists.

Defensively, Gillespie led the Bruins with seven block assists while Scanlan (4 BA), Wald, and Pakalani Helekahi (3 BA) each added a block solo. Verenice Chaparro and Taylor Holz reached double figures in digs with 13 and 10, respectively.

BU atoned for eight serving errors with an equal number of service aces led by two apiece from Squiers and Lauren Colpitts. Dordt recorded seven aces but couldn't overcome 16 service errors of their own.

Brooke Granstra and Ema Altena both reached double figures in kills for Dordt with 15 and 10, respectively. Jill Schouten (17), Jamie Gesink (16), Granstra (12), and Aubrey Drake (10) all had 10 or more kills on the match while Gesink handed out a match-hit 45 assists.

Morningside 3, Bellevue 1 (25-19, 25-20, 21-25, 25-21)

Bellevue received a match-best 15 kills from Pakalani Helekahi and 12 more from Rachel Wald but it wasn't enough to overcome the upset-minded Mustangs. Helekahi added 15 digs for her fourth double-double of the year.

Taylor Holz matched Helekahi with 15 digs of her own and recorded two of Bellevue's four service aces. Once again Maddie Squiers directed the Bruin attack with 38 assists.

Mikaylah Gillespie finished with three block assists and Hope Lambrecht added two and a block solo for the Bruins.

Bellevue fell behind two sets to none before getting back in the match with a third set victory. It was the only set in which the Bruins out-hit Morningside. BU followed that up by attacking at a match-low .047 rate in the fourth set as the Mustangs picked up a win.

Morningside out-hit Bellevue .204-.126 and out-dug the Bruins 64-60. Both teams piled up three more service errors than aces on the match.

The Mustangs were led, offensively, by Jenn Buyert (14 kills) and Ashley Vande Stouwe (9 kills, .350) while Brittany Fleming and Taylor Ferguson split setting duties with 21 and 20 assists, respectively. On defense Katie Kuck, Nikki Obberfoell, and Morgan Gourley each dug 14 balls to co-lead the team. Buyert totaled a pair of block solos and three block assists while Vande Stouwe added a block solo and a match-best seven block assists.