Belmont volleyball sweeps Tennessee State in last home games
Sports

Belmont volleyball sweeps Tennessee State in last home games

The Belmont volleyball team ended on a good note, concluding the last homestand of the 2021 season with two wins against Tennessee State University.

With a 3-1 match victory on Sunday and a 3-0 win on Monday, the Bruins climbed to 3-11 landing the team in ninth place in the Ohio Valley Conference standings. Behind quick offensive attacks and aggressive play, Belmont came prepared for the action that took place in the Curb Event Center. 

The Bruins opened match one on Monday hot with a quick kill by sophomore Laura Shoopman, but Tennessee State instantly responded by noting three straight points.

After an otherwise close opening to the first set, the Tigers reached a five-point lead before Belmont got into a groove led by junior Taylor Floyd’s block assist. 

With points handed back and forth between both teams, they tied four times before the Bruins made a definite run to take home the first set 25-21.

The second set started off as the previous, close, but in TSU’s favor. The Tigers scored six consecutive points on the scoreboard, forcing Belmont to dig deep for a comeback.

Despite good efforts from freshman Kristen Clemons earning her first kill of the game, the Tigers did not look back, tying the match 1-1 in sets with a 25-19 set victory.

Coming back with new energy after a short break, the third set belonged entirely to Belmont.

Thanks to dominating play by Floyd, Clemons, Shoopman and freshman Sophia Hagstrom smashing in two service aces, Belmont faced minimal difficulties in a 25-18 set win.

With a lead of 2-1 in sets and the fourth underway, Belmont kept scoring at the same intense tempo, wrapping it up with a set of 25-16 and 3-1 match victory. Floyd noted a match-high 16 kills.

The second win of the season was celebrated with a wholesome moment of gratitude for players Mackenzie LePage, Halee Van Poppel and MacKenzie Harless as senior day came to a close.

Following Sunday’s match, in Monday’s game, Belmont brought the same intensity to the Curb Event Center. 

Showing up for her last game in the Curb, Van Poppel collected the most points in the game with 14.5 including 12 kills, 14 digs and three block assists.

Belmont took the lead at 2-1 and remained ahead the rest of the first set. The final set score of the first frame read 25-22.

In the following set, the points were passed back and forth between each team, but by increasing the lead by five, the Bruins held on despite an intense rally from TSU.

Topped by Aniya Williams and Kariely Santana-Delgado’s nine kills each, TSU fought long and hard to hold off Belmont’s undeniable momentum.

Nonetheless, Belmont volleyball proved unstoppable Monday.

Belmont took home the sweep over Tennessee State behind a Floyd kill to win the final third set,  25-23. And the end result was a 3-0 match victory. 

This marks the first time all season Belmont won two-straight games. And the hope is that the Bruins carry this momentum into the final two games of the regular season. 

Looking to conclude the 2021 season, the Bruins are heading to Tennessee Tech this weekend for a final two-game series.

This article written by Jessica Mattsson.

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