NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont Volleyball hits the road to open its first season of Ohio Valley Conference play under first-year head coach Katelyn Harrison. The Bruins (1-14, 0-0 OVC) travel to Morehead State (9-3, 0-0 OVC) on Friday evening and wrap the weekend at Eastern Kentucky (5-9, 0-0 OVC) on Saturday afternoon.
Morehead State will look to extend its latest three-match win streak as OVC play begins. The Eagles stand at 9-3 overall and stand atop the conference. MSU is led in kills by Olivia Lohmeier, who has recorded 212. Bridget Bessler has tallied 348 assists to lead the team while Allison Whitten leads the defensive effort with 174 digs. Mia Swearingen has collected 12 solo blocks.
Belmont owns a slim 9-8 lead in the all-time series with MSU. The Eagles have won the last two meetings between the programs.
Eastern Kentucky eyes snapping a four-match skid with the start of league play this weekend. The losses have moved the Colonels to 5-9 overall. EKU is led in kills by Abby Noll, who has posted 152. Rachel Woody has tallied 329 assists to lead the team in the category while Dena Tekavec leads in digs with a total of 183.
BU leads the all-time series, 10-7. The Colonels have won three of the last four matchups.
Junior Halee Van Poppel (Argyle, Texas) leads the Bruins in kills, tallying 170. Leading the team in assists is junior Akia Warrior (Fort Worth, Texas), after recording 351, including her 1,000th over the weekend. A trio of Bruins are splitting dig duty led by sophomore Peyton Kelley (Normal, Ill.) with 119, followed by Van Poppel with 115 and sophomore Faith Cobaugh (Union, Ky.) with 114. Freshman Kailee Bass (Aurora, Ill.) has notched six solo blocks and a team-leading 43 block assists.
Several Bruins are making statistical waves among all NCAA Division I players and in the Ohio Valley Conference as of September 23. Nationally, Bass is ranked 89th in total blocks and 155th in blocks per set while Van Poppel is ranked 94th in total attacks and 126th in total kills.
In the OVC, Bass is ranked seventh in blocks. Van Poppel comes in at eighth in kills in the league and ninth in the conference in points. Warrior is ranked ninth in assists in the OVC.
Friday's match at Morehead State is set to begin at 5 p.m. CT while Saturday's contest at Eastern Kentucky has a 12 p.m. CT start time. Both matches will have live stats available. The game versus the Eagles can be seen live on ESPN+. Fans may also follow the team's Twitter account (@BelmontVB) for live, in-game updates.