Volleyball sweeps on day one of Evangel Classic

Mikaylah Gillespie racked up 31 kills on .321 hitting to help BU to a pair of wins on Friday at the Evangel Classic
Mikaylah Gillespie racked up 31 kills on .321 hitting to help BU to a pair of wins on Friday at the Evangel Classic

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Mikaylah Gillespie recorded a team-high 31 kills over two matches as the 21st-ranked Bellevue University volleyball team picked up a pair of victories on Friday in the first day of the Evangel Classic. The Bruins defeated (RV) College of the Ozarks by a score of 3-2 (25-23, 25-17, 17-25, 25-27, 16-14) in the opener and followed that performance up with a 3-1 (25-13, 25-23, 23-25, 25-14) over Evangel University.

Bellevue has now won seven of their last eight matches to improve to 8-3 overall on the season. College of the Ozarks was handed their first loss by BU, falling to 10-1 on the year while host side Evangel sees their record dip to 4-9.

Bellevue 3, Ozarks 2 (25-23, 25-17, 17-25, 25-27, 16-14)

Mikaylah Gillespie pounded out a season-high 18 kills and led the Bruins in hitting (among those with 10+ attacks) at .361 to help will the Bruins to a five-set victory over long-time rival College of the Ozarks.

Bellevue jumped ahead early with victories in each of the first two sets, easily out-hitting the Bobcats by a combined .305-.160 margin.

Ozarks responded by hitting .282 in sets three and four as the BU hitters went cold (.102) to force a decisive fifth set.

Despite seeing their commanding 2-0 lead evaporate the Bruins maintained their perfect mark in five-setters, improving to 4-0 on the year in such matches.

Maddie Squiers picked up her team-leading fourth double-double in the match, notching 56 assists and piling up a career-high 22 digs for the Bruin defense which out-dug CofO by a 98-85 margin.

Shayla Scanlan (16 kills, .205 hitting) and Andrea Carson (12 kills, .083 hitting) joined Gillespie with double-digit hitting efforts in the win.

Cheyenne Mahnke (17), Fabiola Avila (13), Taylor Holz, and Lauren Colpitts (10) all reached double figures in digs.

Bellevue 3, Evangel 1 (25-13, 25-23, 23-25, 25-14)

For the second time on the day Mikaylah Gillespie led the Bruins in Kills (13, .280 hitting) and Maddie Squiers picked up a double-double (39 assists, 12 digs) to pace BU to a 3-1 victory over Evangel.

Bellevue again got off to a sizzling start, hitting .212 over the match's first two sets while Evangel struggled to get anything going offensively after hitting just -.029 and BU jumped out to a commanding 2-0 lead again.

The Crusaders pulled out a narrow 25-23 victory in the third set but Bellevue overpowered their hosts with a dominating .379-.147 hitting effort in a 25-14 fourth set victory.

Rachel Wald became the second Bruin to notch a double-double this season, finishing the match with 10 kills (.194 hitting) and 11 digs. Shayla Scanlan joined Gillespie and Wald with 10 kills on .375 hitting.

Lauren Colpitts led Bellevue with 13 digs. She was supported by Cheyenne Mahnke (12), Andrea Carson (12) and the aforementioned Wald and Squiers with 10+ digs in another strong defensive showing by BU.