NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Hard fought comebacks in every set fell just shy of sealing the win for Belmont Volleyball on Saturday afternoon in the Curb Event Center. The Bruins (0-3) were held off by Arkansas State (2-1) on the final day of the Bruiser Showcase.
The teams traded points to open the first stanza before Belmont exploded for a 6-0 run to pull ahead, 11-8. The flurry forced Arkansas State to call its first timeout of the set. The Red Wolves surged to knot the score four times through the midpoint of the set, remaining hot on BU's heels. With the score tied 18-18, the Red Wolves made their move, going on a 7-2 run to stand at match point. ASU was able to use a BU error to secure the 25-19 win.
The second frame was just as hotly contested as the first. After a few scoring stalemates, the Bruins pulled away before hitting the midpoint of the set. Aided by some strong blocking at the net by senior Huntir Bass (Mobile, Ala.), freshman Kailee Bass (Aurora, Ill.) and sophomore Mary Catherine Ball (Hendersonville, N.C.), BU grew its lead to 15-9 going into the media timeout.
The Red Wolves worked hard to close the scoring gap and remained within striking distance down the stretch, going on to tie the score at 19, pushing Belmont to call for a break in the action. ASU refused to let up over the final points, whittling the Bruin lead down to one point before overtaking the lead. ASU posted the last 3 points of the frame to win 25-22.
After the break, a sluggish start for BU saw the Red Wolves jump out to an 11-4 lead. The home team called for a timeout to regroup and slowly began chipping away at the Arkansas State lead. With the help of a series of ASU attack errors and a dramatic kill by sophomore Taylor Floyd (Louisville, Ky.), Belmont was able to move to within five, 20-15. Unfortunately, two more kills from the outside hitter would not be enough as the Red Wolves took the final set, 25-17.
For the day, Floyd led the Bruins with 10 kills and picked up a double-double with 11 digs. Sophomore Carly Mason (Forsyth, Ill.) and junior Akia Warrior (Fort Worth, Texas) tallied 14 and 13 assists, respectively. Sophomore Faith Cobaugh (Union, Ky.) and Floyd added 16 digs. Freshman Kailee Bass notched a match-high six block assists, while Huntir Bass and Ball each added five in the effort.
For her efforts over the two days, Ball was named to the Bruiser Showcase All Tournament Team.
Belmont returns to action on Tuesday evening in the Curb Event Center. The Bruins host Alabama A&M for a match beginning at 6 p.m. Live stats will be available and the contest can be seen live on ESPN+.
2019 Bruiser Showcase All-Tournament Team
MVP - Ari Millier, Milwaukee
Carmen Heilemann, Milwaukee
Jess Grabowski, Milwaukee
Peyton Uhlenhake, Arkansas State
Macey Putt, Arkansas State
Morgan Madasz, North Alabama
Mary Catherine Ball, Belmont