SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Newly No. 19 ranked Bellevue University volleyball swept a pair of matches on Friday evening in the Evangel Classic at The Courts. Bellevue swept Tabor 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-22) in the opener before digging out of a 2-0 hole to knock off host No. 20 Evangel 3-2 (17-25, 15-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-9) in a five-set thriller to wrap up their first day of action at the event.
With the pair of victories, BU is now 9-5 on the season. The Bruins are back on the court with two more matches tomorrow. BU plays Saint Mary at 10 a.m. and Ozarks at noon.
#19 Bellevue 3, Tabor 0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-22)
Pakalana Helekahi recorded nine kills and no errors on 14 attacks and Shayla Scanlan finished with a match-high 10 kills help Bellevue easily dispatch Tabor. Hope Lambrecht contributed six kills and Mikaylah Gillespie five.
Maddie Squiers had a strong all-around game as she handed out 35 assists and supplemented her effort with six kills, eight digs, and four blocks.
Gillespie led BU with 8 blocks while Scanlan and Lambrecht added five each. Taylor Holz paced the team with 24 digs while Lauren Colpitts and U'i Kepani chipped in seven apiece. As a team the Bruins out-dug Tabor 53-36.
Bellevue out-hit Tabor in every set, including by an impressive .433-.103 margin in the third set. BU hit .286 while the Bluejays just managed to stay positive at .037 for the match.
Kendra Kroeker led Tabor with nine kills on .350 hitting. Ali Jost and Amy Horner reached double digits in digs with 18 and 10, respectively. Megan Voth had 13 assists and Keeley Kroeker added nine.
#19 Bellevue 3, #20 Evangel 2 (17-25, 15-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-9)
In the battle of Top-20 teams the Bruins came out on top of a back and forth affair. Evangel jumped out to an early two set to none lead before Bellevue recovered to win three straight sets to prevail in the match.
The win was BU's fifth against a ranked opponent this season against just two such losses. Last season the Bruins were 4-5 against ranked opposition.
Shayla Scanlan had a terrific match at the net recording a season-high 17 kills, just one off her career best 18 set last season, on a match-best .484 hitting. Mikaylah Gillespie also reached double-figures with 10 kills while Pakalana Helekahi chipped in nine.
BU hit just .090 on the match but put up a strong enough defensive effort (68 digs) to overcome. Evangel hit .108 and dug 56 balls. The Crusaders hit negative in each of the three sets they lost, including the fifth when they were out-hit .368 to -0.063.