Bruins play well in NSAA split at Waldorf

Pakalana Helekahi became the first Bruin since 2011 to record as many as 25 kills in a match
Pakalana Helekahi became the first Bruin since 2011 to record as many as 25 kills in a match

FOREST CITY, Iowa. -- The No. 21 Bellevue University volleyball team split a pair of conference matches on Tuesday afternoon at Waldorf University's Hanson Fieldhouse. Bellevue defeated the host Warriors by a count of 3-1 in the opener before falling to No. 4 Viterbo 3-2 in their second game of the day.

The Bruins now stand at 24-9 overall on the season and are 10-3 in North Star contests. BU returns home on Friday, Oct. 28 when they host Jamestown at 7 p.m. in a key NSAA match at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.

Bellevue 3, Waldorf 1 (23-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-21)

Shayla Scanlan pounded out a career-high 19 kills on .548 hitting to pace the Bellevue offense in a 3-1 victory over Waldorf.

Maddie Squiers dished out 46 assists to a Bruin offense that out-hit the Warriors .130-.085 on the game.

Hope Lambrecht racked up 10 kills in the match while Mikaylah Gillespie added nine and Pakalana Helekahi chipped in eight for the Bruins.

Rebecca Bartnicki led Waldorf with 11 kills on .226 hitting. Brianna Haugen and Kyra Platzek added nine and eight kills, respectively. Valerie River (19) and Elisabeth Tramm (17) combined for 36 assists for the Warriors.

Bellevue received outstanding defensive efforts across the board as they totaled a season-high 81 digs as a team, out-digging their hosts by an 81-62 margin. Taylor Holz led the way with 23 while Verenice Chaparro (15), Helekahi (12), and Lauren Colpitts (10) all joined her in double-figures.

Briley Sullivan led Waldorf with 17 digs and Kelsey Sederquest added 13.

Gillespie and Lambrecht both notched season-highs with five and four solo blocks apiece.

The win was the seventh in a row for the Bruins who have been playing some of their best volleyball of late. Waldorf fell to 15-18 (4-7 NSAA) with their fourth-straight loss.

Viterbo 3, Bellevue 2 (25-21, 24-26, 25-19, 22-25, 15-12)

Bellevue became the first NSAA team to force a five-set match with Viterbo in the last two seasons but the Bruins couldn't quite pull of the upset as the V-Hawks snapped BU's win streak at seven matches with a 3-2 NSAA neutral site victory.

After dropping the opening set, the Bruins took down Viterbo in the second set to level the match at one game apiece. Bellevue even got off to a strong start in the third set, taking a 7-2 lead before the V-Hawks came back with a 16-3 run en route to grabbing a 2-1 lead. Bellevue fought back with a thrilling fourth-set win to force a decisive fifth set where Viterbo prevailed 15-12 to earn the victory.

Pakalana Helekahi led the Bruins with 25 kills and swung at .298 for the match. It eclipsed her previous career best of 21 against both Ottawa and MidAmerica Nazarene on Sept. 3. It was the most kills by any Bruins since Kali Schnacker had 26 against College of Idaho on Aug. 27, 2011.

Maddie Squiers recorded her team-leading ninth double-double of the season, finishing the match with 43 assists and a career-high 19 digs.

Taylor Holz again led the defense with 28 digs. She was joined in double-figures by Squiers, Lauren Colpitts (14), U'i Kepani (10), and Verenice Chaparro (10).

The V-Hawks out-hit BU by just a .135-.124 margin for the match and out-dug the Bruins just 98-94.

Viterbo was led by Siera Skow's 19 kills while Sara Biermaier added 10. Danielle Green hit .389 with nine kills and Emilee Wiersma added eight kills. Amelia Grahn picked up a double-double for the V-Hawks with 45 assists and 16 digs.

Baylee Gross totaled 26 digs for Viterbo while Chloe Jakscht added 20, Grahn 16, and Biermaier 14.

With the victory, Viterbo improved to 31-2 (11-0 NSAA) on the year and ran their program-best win streak to 28 matches.

The only North Star team other than Bellevue to even manage to take a set off Viterbo since the V-Hawks joined the conference was Jamestown earlier this season.