BELLEVUE, Neb. -- Despite not playing one of their better matches of the season the #21 Bellevue University volleyball team fought their way to a 3-1 victory over Dakota State University in North Star Athletic Association action on Thursday evening at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.
Bellevue took the match by set scores of 25-15, 16-25, 25-21, and 25-16 for their sixth-straight victory and improve to 12-3 (2-0 NSAA) on the season. Dakota State has now lost back-to-back matches to fall to 2-12 (0-1 NSAA) for the year.
Throughout the match BU had trouble dealing with the Dakota State blockers as the Trojans ran up a 10-6 advantage in blocks while holding Bellevue to a .118 hitting effort. Dakota State was unable to take advantage of their front line defense as they managed to hit a meager .033 for the match.
The win was just Bellevue's second of the season when hitting under the .150 mark, improving to 2-2 in such contests.
Bellevue was led offensively by Shayla Scanlan's 14 kills (.321 hitting). She was joined in double-figures by Mikaylah Gillespie with 10 kills. Maddie Squiers turned in another strong all-around performance with 38 assists, eight kills (.500), and seven digs. The Bruins were led defensively by Cheyenne Mahnke's 17 digs as they out-dug the Trojans by a 62-46 tally.
Dakota State received five-kill performances from Kaylee Spreier, Gabby Herlyn, and Maddie Polzin. Jaz Williams led the Trojans with 13 digs while Carly Rozell added 10 of her own. Rachel Johnson (13) and Kendra Steffen (10) combined for all 23 assists on the evening.
1st Set: Bellevue 25, Dakota State 15
In the opening set Bellevue fell behind early by a 4-1 margin but responded with a 10-2 run to prompt Dakota State to burn a timeout. The halt in play didn't slow BU's momentum as Bellevue picked up where they left off before the stoppage, out-scoring the Trojans 14-9 to take the first set and out-hit Dakota State .189-(-).053 in the opening frame.
2nd Set: Dakota State 25, Bellevue 16
The second set saw a similarly strong start from the Trojans as the visitors grabbed an early 8-4 lead, this time leading to a Bellevue timeout. Bellevue and Dakota State traded jabs out of the stoppage before Dakota State ran off three-straight points to take an 18-12 lead and seize command of the second set and force BU to take their second timeout. The Trojans closed out the set, in which they out-hit the Bruins .379-.029, with a 7-4 spurt.
3rd Set: Bellevue 25, Dakota State 21
Bellevue started out the third set better, grabbing an early 4-1 lead and eventually building an 11-6 advantage before the Trojans called the first timeout of the set. Dakota State closed to within two points on three occasions but was unable to get closer as BU took a 22-18 lead prompting the Trojans to burn their final timeout of the set. The Bruins wound up winning the set on the strength of a .194 hitting effort to Dakota State's .036 mark.
4th Set: Bellevue 25, Dakota State 16
BU seemed to get in a rhythm in the middle portion of the fourth set, using a 5-1 run to grab a 12-8 lead before Dakota State called a timeout in an effort to regroup. The Bruin lead swelled to seven points at 21-14 before the next Trojan timeout but by that time the match was in hand as BU hung on for the win. The Bruins out-hit Dakota State .071-(-).214 in the fourth and final set. Scanlan secured the victory with her match-high 14th kill on the final point of the match.
Bellevue returns home on Wednesday, Sept. 20 as they play host to Doane University at 7 p.m. in a non-conference match at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.
Dakota State next plays at Morningside College tomorrow in Sioux City, Iowa at 6 p.m. in a non-conference match.