Volleyball Prevails in Five Set Match Against Tulane
NEW ORLEANS, La. - - Belmont (8-6) overcame a slow start to win in five sets on the road in the Kathy Troslcair Memorial tournament hosted by Tulane. The Bruins fell to Tulane (4-5) in sets one and four, but used a strong serving effort from sophomore Jen Myer (New Braunfels, Texas) to take the 3-2 win. Myer had seven aces on the night, including three in the deciding set.
"Tonight's match was a classic matchup of size and speed," Head Coach Deane Webb said. "We were giving up height at every position, but our success on first ball contact greatly changed the game."
Belmont struggled in set one, recording only five kills and hitting a dismal -.143. The Bruins bounced back in sets two and three, hitting .344 in the second set and .226 in the third. Offensive production wasn't the only improvement Belmont made, as the Bruins used solid defense to work their way back into the match.
"It was a dreadful start offensively in game one," Webb said. "I can't remember the last time a Belmont team had five kills in a game. We were intimidated by their size, and it showed. To bounce back in game two with 17 kills while hitting over .340 was very impressive. Even more impressive than our offense in game two was our defense in game three. I was particularly impressed with Maggie (Johnson) in the back row defensively tonight. She remained balanced in her area and extended many rallies."
Belmont was led by senior Maggie Johnson (Naperville, Ill.) with 18 kills. Johnson also turned in a team high 19 digs. Myer turned in a strong all-around performance, finishing the match with 15 kills, a .184 hitting percentage, and 12 digs and seven service aces. Junior Amy Van Buren (Ranchos Palos Verdes, Calif.) led the Bruins with seven blocks, helping the team to a new season high of 11.5 blocks. Belmont had five players finish with five or more digs, including double-digit efforts from Johnson and Myer, as well as freshman Scarlet Gable (Munford, Tenn.), who finished with 14, and sophomore libero Jamie Lundstrom (La Grange, Ill.) who recorded 18.
"Jen (Myer) is a great all around player, and an absolute game changer from behind the service line," Webb said. "I'm sure glad we're not on the receiving end of her serve when she is hitting it like she was tonight. Serving that well throughout the night, and then getting two aces in game five… it just doesn't get much better. It was one of the best serving performances I've seen."
The Bruins will face South Alabama at 1 p.m. on Saturday with a chance to win their second invitational in as many weeks. The match against South Alabama is the first between the two schools and will mark the final non-conference match for Belmont. The Bruins will begin conference play next weekend.
"South Alabama is a team similar in size to our team," Webb said. "They are small and quick at the outside hitter position, have a setter that is athletic, and have the team speed to extend rallies. We see tomorrow as a great opportunity to improve as a team, and we'll be ready to play. I am really proud of the heart our team showed tonight. It is a win our team can build on as we advance throughout our season."