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The Bellmont volleyball machine, ranked third in class 3A in the current statewide poll, tuned up for this weekend's meat grinder known as the New Castle Volleyball Invitational with an easy three-game sweep of Lakewood Park Christian Thursday night at the Teepee.
The Squaws handled Lakewood without much difficulty in the first two games by counts of 25-8 and 25-7 and then notched a 25-15 tally in the third and final game.
Erin Hunter had an exceptional game from the service line nailing 10 aces to go with seven digs and Payton Schultz recorded nine kills in 14 attempts along with three solo blocks and one ace and assisted block to lead the Squaws. Holly Hankenson knocked in eight kills and four aces and also contributed seven digs and one assist while her twin sister, Bailee, delivered 14 assists, three digs, two kills and assisted blocks, and an ace.
Other Squaw stats found Steph Shoup with four kills, three aces and digs, and 13 assists, Janaya Wilder had two kills and an assisted block, Sarah Norder finished with four kills, and Allison Gutierrez had eight digs and four aces.
Nearly one-third of the points Bellmont scored in the evening, or 23 to be exact, came on service aces.
The Squaws, now 10-3 on the year, will play in the New Castle tournament on Saturday where they will face Muncie Central, ranked fifth in class 3A this week, at 10 a.m. and then battle the host New Castle Trojans at 4 p.m. The Trojans are seeded third in class 4A this week.
The BHS reserves rolled to quick wins over Lakewood Park with a 25-15, 25-6 mark.
The JV Squaws had their hitting game going with 25 kills and nine aces. Taylor Rhymer, Natalie Busse, Madalyn Mann and Audrey Schultz all drilled home four kills while Busse had three aces and Mann and Emily Roman had two each. Mann and Autumn Konkle aided the passing game with seven and five assists respectively, and on defense, Jessah Okoniewski, Busse, Carley Williams, and Olivia Fuelling all had three digs. Fuelling added three kills while Jordan Rumschlag and Madison Glancy each picked off a pair.
Five different Squaws all had blocks as the reserves stayed unbeaten on the season.