The Beloit College volleyball team bounced back from a three-set loss to Alma early Saturday to defeat Eureka in an exciting four-setter.
Alma 3, Beloit 0 (25-13, 25-14, 25-20)
Offensive errors proved costly in the Buccaneers first match of the day. Amanda Baran led the Bucs up front with eight kills followed by eight from Eva Laun-Smith. Paige Wimbrow dished out 10 assists and recorded 11 digs in the game.
The Bucs would key in for match two of the day, arguably the most exciting match of the tournament.
Beloit 3, Eureka 1 (25-16, 24-26, 26-24, 25-19)
The teams traded points to open the match until the Bucs rattled off five-straight to take a 16-10 lead. Beloit would extend their advantage en route to the 25-16 first set win.
The Buccaneers jumped out to a 12-5 lead in set two but Eureka responded with a 6-1 spurt that narrowed the gap to two, 13-11. A back-and-forth battle ensued until the Red Devils were able to string three straight together to push set point. Beloit didn’t fold with Laun-Smith tallying a kill followed by two EC miscues to knot the game at 24-24. The Bucs saw the set slip by with two errors to even the match at 1-1.
The third set was nearly a mirror image of the second. The Red Devils shot out to an 11-5 lead but the Buccaneers stood their ground, battling their way back into the game. A 6-1 run in favor of the Bucs pulled Beloit to within one, 12-11. Fans were feeling a sense of déjà vu as the teams traded points until once again the Bucs were faced with set point, 22-24. An EC error gave the serve to the Bucs, still facing set point, 23-24. Allison Faber tallied a huge service ace to tie the set 24-24. Chrisly Metlon and Aryssa Harris teamed up for a big block to give the Bucs the lead and an attack from the Red Devils’ outside hitter sailed long giving Beloit the set 26-24, and a 2-1 advantage in the match.
Capitalizing on their momentum from set three, the Bucs jumped out to a 9-2 lead forcing a Eureka timeout. The Red Devils were able to narrow the gap to 10-6 after the timeout but that’s as close as the Buccaneers would allow. A seven-point swing gave Beloit an 18-8 cushion. Eureka mounted a small comeback but three consecutive kills from Harris, Molly Muller and Harris again brought match point. Harris tallied the final point with another kill, her 14th of the contest.
Laun-Smith, who was later named to the Buc Blast All-Tournament Team, led the Bucs with 15 kills and added 13 digs in the contest. Defensively, Shelby Strehlow recorded 18 digs. Wimbrow connected with the Buccaneer hitters for 28 assists and added 13 digs. Faber provided a spark for the Bucs defensively at the net with a solo and three block assists.
The Bucs will compete in the ACM Tournament hosted by Lawrence University Friday-Saturday, September 7-8. Beloit will take on Carleton College and Luther College Friday followed by Saturday matchups against Macalester and St. Olaf.