Volleyball wraps up Labor Day Classic with split

Pakalana Helekahi had back-to-back games with a BU season-high 21 kills
Pakalana Helekahi had back-to-back games with a BU season-high 21 kills

BELLEVUE, Neb. -- The Bellevue University volleyball team played a pair of exciting five-set matches on the second day of the 2016 Premier Labor Day Classic, winning the opener before falling in a tight second match.

The Bruins knocked off Ottawa 3-2 (21-25, 25-17, 25-19, 23-25, 17-15) in their first game of the day and went up 2-0 on MidAmerica Nazarene before falling 3-2 (27-25, 25-21, 21-25, 22-25, 12-15)

Bellevue sees their record go to 7-5 on the season with the split. The Bruins are off until next weekend when they travel to Springfield, Mo. for the Evangel Classic. BU plays Tabor and #20 Evangel on Friday at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. before returning for Saturday matches against St. Mary and College of the Ozarks at 10 a.m. and noon.

Bellevue 3, #22 Ottawa 2 (21-25, 25-17, 25-19, 23-25, 17-15)

Bellevue rallied from 10-5 and 14-12 in the decisive fifth set to nab a 3-2 victory against Ottawa in their first of two games.

BU out-hit Ottawa .189-.129 on the match with an outstanding defensive effort piling up 78 digs against 68 for the Braves.

Pakalana Helekahi all players with 21 kills and Mikaylah Gillespie hit a match-high .480 for the Bruins. Gillespie (14), Shayla Scanlan (10), and Rachel Wald (10) all reached double-figure kills as well.

Maddie Squiers turned in another strong setting performance logging a double-double with 54 assists and 12 digs with seven kills spritzed in.

Defensively, Bellevue was led by 20-dig efforts from Taylor Holz (23) and Verenice Chaparro (20). Scanlan and Hope Lambrecht chipped in with seven and six total blocks, respectively.

Trailing 12-10 in the fifth set Helekahi unloaded on a pair of powerful blasts for back-to-back kills to bring the Bruins even for the first time since 5-5. After trading two-point runs BU took the lead at 15-14 on a block from Scanlan and Lambrecht.

Ottawa briefly tied the match at 15 but consecutive kills from Scanlan gave the Bruins their four-straight victory.

#10 MidAmerica Nazarene 3, Bellevue 2 (25-27, 21-25, 25-21, 25-22, 15-12)

Bellevue got another 21-kill performance from Pakalana Helekahi - one of three players with 10 or more kills in the match - but surrendered a two set to none lead against a very strong MidAmerica Nazarene club.

Joining Helekahi with double figure kills were Shayla Scanlan and Mikaylah Gillespie with 14 and 11, respectively. Hope  Lambrecht and Michaela Gardner added eight apiece while Rachel Wald chipped in seven.

Maddie Squiers picked up her sixth double-double of the season with 58 assists and 14 digs.

Taylor Holz again led the defense in digs with 19. Verenice Chaparro piled up 13 and U'i Kepani contributed 12.

Bellevue hit .215 as a team against .282 for the Pioneers. MNU out-dug the Bruins 76-74.