NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Flashes of strong play was not enough to assist Belmont Volleyball pull off an upset on Saturday afternoon in the Curb Event Center. The Bruins (2-25, 1-11 OVC) fell to Morehead State (19-6, 10-2 OVC), 3-0.
The first set opened with the teams falling into three scoring stalemates before Morehead State pulled away with an 8-0 run to take a 15-6 lead by the media timeout. Belmont was finally able to cut the Eagles lead in half, 22-11, thanks to kills by newcomer MacKenzie Harless (Brownsburg, Ind.) and junior Halee Van Poppel (Argyle, Texas). That would be as close as BU would come as the visitors rolled to a 25-13 win.
Set two saw the Bruins attack early and often, quickly knotting the score 5-5 after kills by sophomore Mary Catherine Ball (Hendersonville, N.C.), Van Poppel and Harless. However, the Eagles were able to rally, forcing BU to burn through both of its timeouts by the midpoint of the set. A kill into the left corner by Ball halted a 4-0 run by MSU that put the visitors ahead, 15-10. Belmont attempted to surge late in the frame, trimming the point differential to five points, 20-15, following kills by sophomore Carly Mason (Forsyth, Ill.) and Ball. Despite a pair of late kills by Van Poppel, Morehead State was able to push ahead for the 25-18 set victory.
The Eagles opened the third frame with a 6-0 run and did not look back. BU was able to move to within four, 10-6, but it was short-lived. By the media timeout, MSU had expanded it lead to seven, 15-8. After the brief break, Belmont looked for a spark behind a 3-0 run with kills coming from a service ace by Mason, and kills from Harless and Van Poppel. The flurry moved the Bruins to within five, 20-15, but Morehead State was able to surge late and clench the final set, 25-17.
For the match, Van Poppel and Ball each posted eight kills. Mason and senior Akia Warrior (Fort Worth, Texas) tallied 12 and 10 assists, respectively. Ball finished with a team-high nine digs. Senior Huntir Bass (Mobile, Ala.) notched the match's lone solo block and picked up a pair of block assists to lead the team.
Belmont returns to action in the Curb Event Center for its final home match this season, hosting crosstown rival Tennessee State. First serve is set for 6 p.m. Live stats will be available and the contest can be seen live on ESPN+. Fans may also follow the team's Twitter account (@BelmontVB) for live, in-game updates.