Volleyball Sweeps Mercer for First Conference Win of the Season
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Belmont (7-12, 1-1) dominated set one and then came from behind to take sets two and three to defeat Mercer) (6-14, 0-2), 3-0 on Saturday afternoon in the Curb Event Center. The win was the first of the conference season for the Bruins and snapped a three-match losing skid.
The fast start in the first set and the fight exhibited by the Bruins in sets two and three showed the team was able to shake-off last night's heartbreaking five-set loss to Kennesaw State. The improvement was one Head Coach Deane Webb was happy to see.
"I think any time you take 29 swings and get 19 kills and only have one hitting error, that's a great number and that's an unusual number," Webb said of the first set. "We don't expect to hit over .600 very often, so that was great to see. Those seven hitting errors we had in set two were all within their first nine points when they went out on that big run. After that, we didn't have a single hitting error in that set and I thought that was important for our team be able to regain their composure, focus, and then come out in set three and actually get better. We were better in three in three than we were in two and that's something our team needed to do today."
Belmont was led by junior Maggie Johnson (Naperville, Ill.) with 16 kills while senior Kayla Albritton added 13. Freshman Hannah Miranda (Covington, La.) led the Bruins with 37 assists. Johnson shared team high honors in digs with libero Megan Clements. Both recorded 14 digs.
"I think Maggie definitely got her feet to the ball and she attacked a higher percentage of balls with pace today and for us, when we're talking to Maggie, it's not so much about hitting percentage as it is about kill percentage---how many swings does it take for her to get a kill," Webb said. "Today, she got a kill just about every other swing, one out of every two, and that's a great number for her. I think she played very well in the back row and just had a complete game for us."
The team will be back in action next Friday and Saturday as the travel to USC Upstate and East Tennessee State for two more conference matches. Friday's match starts at 6 p.m. while first serve for Saturday's match is set for 1 p.m. Friday's match at USC Upstate will be held on the Wofford campus in Spartansburg, S.C. The road test will provide further opportunity for the coaching staff to evaluate the team. For today, though, Coach Webb was able to enjoy the win.
"Any conference win is a great win, particularly this year as we are playing a single round-robin schedule," Webb said. "You cannot take anyone for granted, you can't take any win lightly, every one is important. Going into next weekend, obviously ETSU, they're off to a great start this year. They have a great overall record and they won last night as well. We know that it's going to be a tough match and that it's a tough place to play and we're looking forward to having that opportunity. (USC) Upstate has had some good non-conference wins to start the year. I believe they're an improved team. That match will actually be off their campus. It will be over at Wofford. We're looking forward to going on the road and seeing where we stack up as we get toward the middle of the conference schedule."
The next home action for Belmont will be Friday, Oct. 15th, when they face Campbell in a 6:30 p.m. match at the Curb Event Center.