The Bellevue Wolverines put their undefeated record on the line Wednesday night at Liberty.
Liberty showed up with an upset on their mind and early on it showed. A back row kill by Callie Weber closed the gap to 5-8 and gave the ball to Carly Burns for the serve. Burns led a rally which included an ace and a Jenna Kennan kill and block and BHS took a 9-8 lead. But behind strong serving, Liberty took a 10-14 lead. Liberty held the lead and looked to close it out up 21-24, but Bellevue hung tough and Katie Sorrell tipped one home to close the gap to 23-24. Holly Huard got a kill to tie it at 25-25 and it was Huard again to go up 26-25 but a BHS net violation knotted it up again at 26. A liberty missed serve gave the Wolverines another chance to close it out but a rotation error cost Bellevue a point and the ball and Liberty took that opportunity to close out game 1, 27-29.
A Naomi Chen-Mallouk kill put Bellevue up 6-5 in game 2 and got Sophia Knapp behind the service line. Knapp served 5 straight points highlighted by a Knapp-to-Weber back row kill and BHS was up 11-5. Weber took a beautiful backset from Alexis Khuu to stretch the lead to 15-9. Bellevue was able to continue solid play behind back row defense by Knapp, Weber, Burns, and Julia Bray and put away game 2, 25-18.
Game 3 started with a Weber kill and when Knapp got an ace, the Wolverines were up 5-3. The middle of this game saw some long rallies and eventually the game was knotted at 15. Liberty showed some great serve receive to set up their offense and after a couple hitting errors took a 18-21 lead. A Weber kill made it 20-22 and Mina Dedijer came off the bench for a key kill to make the score 21-23. Chen-Mallouk placed one perfectly to tie it at 24. Huard slammed one down on the next point to go up 25-24. Liberty tied it up at 25 but a liberty error gave BHS a chance for the win. Holly Huard and Jenna Keenan went up for the block and sent it back where it came from and when it landed in Bellevue had won game 3, 27-25.
Bellevue started off hot in game four and looked like they were going to run away with it up 6-1. However, Liberty continued their scrappy play and tied it up at 12. Huard took a great Khuu set to go back up 15-12. Thats when Liberty hitter Elena Rozewski went on a roll and BHS couldn’t stop the left hander. Khuu got 2 tips to go down to close it to 20-21 but Liberty rode the momentum to take game 4, 22-25.
Liberty’s strong serving was key in the match to this point but a couple early service errors erased their early lead and after a Weber Block, BHS was up 3-2. But after a Liberty block they got back to back aces to go up 5-6. This is when to senior leadership and experience for Bellevue became very evident. Weber went line to tie it up and she was rewarded with the serve. An LHS error was followed with a Weber ace. Liberty couldn’t get it back over in 3 hits and then Weber nailed one from the back row. LHS put it into the net and then Huard got a hold of one that slammed off the court to put BHS up 12-6 and brought on the Holly Huard fist pump!. LHS finally got a side out but it did last long as Huard took a Khuu set and put it away. After a net violation by Liberty, Weber finished off the game and the match with a back row beauty that found the deep right corner of the court and game 5 was Bellevue's, 15-7.
Weber led the squad with 25 kills followed by Huard with 12 and a team leading 2 blocks. Khuu led the offense with 44 assists and Knapp keyed the defense with 29 digs followed closely by Weber with 26. Burns led the team with 3 service aces.
The Wolverines put their 4-0 record on the line next Monday at Interlake.