LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Mikaylah Gillespie and Shayla Scanlan combined for 37 kills to lead third-seeded Bellevue University to a dramatic 3-2 (17-25, 26-24, 19-25, 25-22, 16-14) upset win over No. 2 seeded University of Jamestown Friday night in the North Star Athletic Association Tournament at R.W. Beggs Gymnasium on the Viterbo University campus.
Bellevue (28-10), ranked No. 22 in the latest national polls, advanced to the championship match on Saturday at 2 p.m. against top-seeded Viterbo University. The winner receives an automatic berth into the NAIA National Tournament. Jamestown, ranked 19th nationally, drops to 21-8 on the season. The win by BU avenged two regular-season losses to the Jimmies.
Viterbo defeated No. 4-seeded Presentation College 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-17) in Friday's other semifinal.
Scanlan registered 19 kills, six blocks and four digs in the win. Gillespie drilled 18 kills on .371 hitting, while adding five digs and three blocks. Andrea Carson recorded her second-consecutive double-double, finishing with 12 kills and 20 digs.
Maddie Squiers collected her team-leading 17th double-double of the season, finishing with 52 assists and 20 digs to go along with six kills and a pair of service aces while directing the BU offense to a .130 attack percentage.
Four Bruins registered double-figure dig totals as BU out-dug the Jimmies, 92-84.
Morgan Hensch led UJ with 15 kills while adding four blocks. Haley Glasoe provided 13 kills on .308 hitting along with a match-high nine blocks.
The Bruins hit just .097 in the opening set while UJ committed only three hitting errors as UJ cruised to the 25-17 win.
BU raced out to a 15-7 lead in the second set, before giving up 13-consecutive points as the Jimmies took a 20-15 advantage. Paced by Gillespie's seven kills on seven errorless swings, the Bruins closed the second game on an 11-4 run to knot the contest at 1-1.
The Bruins suffered 10 hitting errors in the third set and hit just .047 as the Jimmies grabbed a 2-1 lead with the 25-19 victory.
Bellevue used a 7-1 run midway through the fourth set to pull away from UJ, forcing a decisive fifth set. Carson led BU in the fourth with four kills on .333 hitting.
The fifth game featured nine ties and three lead changes before consecutive kills by Squiers and Gillespie broke a 14-all tie, giving BU the 16-14 victory and the match.