BELLEVUE, Neb. -- For the second-straight season the 21st-ranked Bellevue University volleyball team will be going to the NAIA National Championship in Sioux City, Iowa. The Bruins defeated Lincoln Christian University 3-0 (25-11, 25-9, 25-11) on Saturday afternoon in an NAIA National Tournament Opening Round Match on Saturday afternoon at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.
The Bruins improved to 29-11 overall on the season. They will await the Final Site Pool Play (Nov. 28-30) announcement which will be determined on Sunday, Nov. 19 and released by 5 p.m. Lincoln Christian completes the 2017 season with a 17-20 overall record.
Shayla Scanlan and Hope Lambrecht shared match-high honors with 10 kills apiece. Scanlan hit a season-best .643 while Lambrecht checked in at .500. Andrea Carson supported the offensive effort with seven kills on .412 hitting.
Maddie Squiers directed the BU attack with her team-leading 19th double-double (33 assists, 11 digs) as Bellevue hit a season-best .520 on the match.
Defensively the Bruins were stout holding Lincoln Christian to .000 hitting and seven blocks while out-digging LCU 43-23.
Katie Kerr and Kristina Nichols led the Red Lions with four kills apiece while Nichols recorded a team-best seven digs.
#21 Bellevue 3, Lincoln Christian 0 (25-11, 25-9, 25-11)
1st Set Hitting: BU .481 | LCU .029
2nd Set Hitting: BU .464 | LCU (-).067
3rd Set Hitting: BU .650 | LCU .043
Bellevue got off to a quick start in the opening set, winning the first three points with a LCU attack error and back-to-back kills from Scanlan who recorded kills on each of her first six attacks. With the score 7-5 in favor of the host Bruins, BU went on a 5-0 run to create some breathing room and continued to stretch their lead from there, going up 20-11 and forcing the Red Lions to take a timeout.
The Bruins started the second set in similar fashion, grabbing an early 3-0 lead with kills from Scanlan and Michaela Gardner as well as a block at the net. From there BU continued their hot start as they pushed the lead to 16-8 prompting and LCU timeout. Out of the stoppage Bellevue scored the next seven points on their way to the set win and a commanding two set to none lead.
BU ceded the first point in the third set before using a 5-0 run to take the lead and not look back. The Red Lions pulled within a point at 5-4 but could get no closer as the Bruins used another 5-0 run to grab a five-point lead. Bellevue cruised from there for the set and match victory to advance to next week's Final Site. BU's .650 hitting percentage in the third set is their highest in any set this season.
With the win Bellevue improves to 5-2 all-time in Opening Round matches and 12-19 all-time in NAIA National Tournament matches. The Bruins are participating in their 10th NAIA National Tournament since the 2000 season and ninth under current head coach Trish Siedlik.
The match marked Lincoln Christian's NAIA National Tournament debut. They qualified by finishing runner-up in the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Tournament.