Volleyball Beats Bears, 3-1
MACON, Ga. - - For the second match in a row, Belmont (11-6, 2-0) started slow and finished strong, earning their second straight conference win with a 3-1 victory at Mercer (4-12, 0-2). The Bruins fell in set one, 18-25, but won the next three sets 25-20, 25-23, and 25-14.
"We were fortunate to get the win today," Head Coach Deane Webb said. "I don't know that we deserved to win today with effort or with our focus, but I'm glad to get the win in conference play regardless."
Belmont got 15 kills from senior Maggie Johnson and 14 from sophomore Jen Myer, but the difference makers came from the middle, with middle hitters Amy Van Buren and Allison McCoy turning in eight kills apiece. The Bruins also had another strong outing from freshman Scarlet Gable who registered nine kills. Myer and Johnson each also recorded a double-double, adding 16 and 14 kills to their double-digit hitting night. Sophomore libero Jamie Lundstrom again led the Bruins defensively with 19 digs.
"One thing that didn't show up in the stats that I was really impressed with Jamie (Lundstrom) today was that she covered very well," Webb said. "There were many balls that we attacked that were blocked back into play that she was there and made a play. Those are things that give so much confidence to attackers when they can trust that they have help behind them. She did that consistently. And then, of course, she's averaging about five digs a game all year and she did that again today. She's doing a really nice job for us back there."
After struggling offensively in sets one and three, the Bruins were dominate in the final set, hitting .552 and shutting down the Mercer attack. Van Buren sparked Belmont offensively, hitting a team high .462 on 13 attack attempts. Myer rounded out her solid offensive performance by hitting .290 and turning in four service aces. Belmont recorded five team blocks, three of which came in the first set. McCoy led the Bruins in that category with three block assists.
"We really just forgot about our middles for the first two games," Webb said. "We just weren't getting them the ball. Once we started doing that, our offense spread out, and we were a little more successful. Amy went from getting a total of two swings in the first two games to getting 11 in the next two and hit .460. I think Al (Allison McCoy) maybe had three kills and two errors early and then had five more kills and no errors the rest of the way. As we balanced our offense we were more successful. Our serve got more aggressive as the match went on and we started limiting our unforced errors. Looking back, in two of the games we had eight unforced errors. Looking back to game two, that's one that jumped out to me. Mercer scored 20 points but only had six kills. That's an unbelievable amount of points that we would give an opponent in one game. We feel very fortunate to win today. Mercer played hard, they were coached well today and we feel very fortunate to have the win."
Belmont returns to the friendly confines of the Curb Event Center next weekend for another A-Sun weekend when ETSU and USC Upstate visit Nashville. The Bruins will host ETSU at 7:15 p.m. on Friday before facing USC Upstate at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
"It will be another important weekend. ETSU is a good team, well coached and experienced," Webb said. "They were in the conference final last year and a number of those starters were there for that. We know that they'll be prepared. They always give us a good match and we certainly expect that next weekend. Upstate is a team that, I think is just ready to explode. Just this past week they played at ETSU and had significant leads in game two and game three, so I know they are physical enough and skilled enough to beat us if we don't prepare well and if we don't play well. We're looking forward to another good weekend of conference play."