The top-seeded Bellevue Bruins used a balance offensive attack with five hitters getting double-digit kills and downed the Dakota State University Trojans 3-1 (25-20, 23-25, 25-19 and 25-11) in the North Star Athletic Association semifinal match in Bellevue, Neb.
This was the third consecutive year the teams have met in the semifinals.
Leading 16-13, the Bruins went on a 6-0 scoring spurt to gain a 22-13 advantage.
Trailing 24-16, the Trojans saved four set point chances and pulled to within four, 24-20. Jacki Apel hammered down a kill to give the Bruins a 25-20 win.
Holding a slim 12-11 lead in the second set, the Trojans rattled off seven straight points to grab an 18-11 lead. The Bruins went on a 6-1 scoring spurt after a time-out and trimmed the lead to two, 19-17.
Maddie Polzin closed the set for the Trojans with a kill to give DSU a 25-23 win.
Bellevue opened up a quick 10-4 lead in the third set. Trailing 13-6, the Trojans had a 9-2 scoring spurt and cut the lead to 16-15. The Bruins closed the set with a 6-1 scoring run and to gain a 25-19 victory.
Bellevue jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the fourth set and posted a 25-11 win. The Trojans could get no closer than six points in the set.
VonnaGail Schlechter had a double-double with 10 kills and 12 digs for DSU. Madalyn Groft also had a double-double for the Trojans with 29 set assists and 14 digs, along with six kills and two block assists.
Polzin recorded 14 digs while Hannah Viet registered four blocks (1 solo, 3 assists).
Peyton Groft had 14 digs and Tayler Corey added 10.
Eve Fountain had 17 kills and 14 digs for the Bruins. Apel finished the match with 11 kills and three block assists.
Olivia Galas had a match-high 52 set assists and 13 digs.
The Bruins smashed 64 kills and had a hitting percentage of .318 (14 errors in 157 swings). The Trojans recorded 45 kills and had a hitting percentage of .128 (24 errors in 164 attempts).
Bellevue collected 83 digs compared to the Trojans’ 70 digs.
DSU finished the season with a 14-10 overall record. The Trojans hit double-digit victories for the 10th time in 11 seasons. They also had a winning record for the third straight season.