Bellmont rolls against NHC rival Carroll in 3-game sweep
A LITTLE FINESSEâ€” Bellmont hitter Madalyn Mann (#4) gets creative to by-pass the Carroll double block on Thursday night, while Janaya Wilder (#12) and Holly Hankenson (#6) look on. The Squaws swept the Chargers in three sets. (Photo by Deb Shannon)
For the second time in six days, a juggernaut in the NHC has fallen at the hands of the smallest school in the conference.
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Bellmont posted an impressive sweep of the Carroll Chargers on Thursday night at the Teepee improving to 3-0 in the conference and knocking off the team that had the best chance of beating the Squaws this season.
"In an ideal world you say that we could take it to them and sweep them," excited Bellmont coach Craig Krull noted after the match, "but to actually go out and do it sticking to what we are good it, it was really awesome."
The Squaws' defense was stellar against the many weapons at the hands of the Chargers. Despite the height on the roster for Carroll, however, there are only two seniors on the team, a factor that may have been the culprit in many of the unforced errors by the visitors in the first two sets.
After breaking a 3-3 tie, the Squaws took three straight followed by a run by Carroll and it was still tight at 7-6 Bellmont. The teams would continue to trade runs throughout the first set with Bellmont leading 14-11.
The Squaws would blow the game open with a 4-0 run to lead 18-11 and the lead was enough to wrangle a win in the first set. After getting as close as six points at 20-14, Bellmont would score five of the final six points to capitalize on a fantastic opening set.
"In the locker room I told them that we had the advantage," explained Krull. "They played New Haven on Tuesday and Woodlan in five sets on Wednesday. I told the girls that we'll have fresh legs and we should look to really push the tempo."
Many times in the first two sets the Squaws' defensive schemes blocking at the net would transition into their offensive attack before the Chargers had time to rotate on the defensive themselves leaving the hitting lanes wide open for many points.
The age and inexperience of the Chargers began to shine through in the second set after the teams played to a 7-7 tie. Bellmont spotted the Chargers a few points on missed serves leading to the tight score but when the loose ends were tied and the Squaws went back to speedy, confident volleyball, Carroll simply folded in set two.
Bellmont would go on a 5-0 run to lead 12-7 and before the Charger faithful could gasp for breath on the visitor sidelines, Bellmont led 20-10 closing out five of the last six points for a commanding two-set lead.
"Carroll should have had a few pushes," explained Krull. "They stuck around in game three but we remained disciplined. I honestly thought that we would have had a closer game in those first two sets."