The Bellevue College volleyball team defeated Olympic College on Nov. 2, winning three out of five sets. In set one, Olympic caught up to Bellevue’s early lead and carried it away to a 25-20 win. In set two, Bellevue took the lead and cruised to a score of 25-21. The Bulldogs also took the third set, separating themselves from Olympic with 11 points and coming out strong with a 25-14 victory. However, Bellevue lost the lead in the fourth set 19-21. Although Bellevue found a quick start in the fourth match with a 6-point lead, Olympic won the set by 24-26. Tied at 2-2, it all came down to the fifth and final set. The Bulldogs initially grasped the lead with a 4-0 start, but Olympic came back and tied at 10-10. Bellevue’s final push took them to victory by 15-12.
“We came out with a little bit of a chip on our shoulder, apparently we still have things to prove to people,” Coach Jocelyn Lawrence said. At this point of the season, the Bulldogs have made the Northwest Athletic Conference Championship but are playing for seeding. “Everyone we play from here on out is do or die for them, to make it to the NWAC championship, so for us it’s just about first place. Our place in the North affects who we play in the first round, so it’s still do or die for us even though we’re going into the championship,” Lawrence said. “We’ve still got to prove to people that we are in the top of those teams,” Lawrence added.
Lawrence named sophomore outside hitter Shea O’Brien as the most valuable player of the game. “I just wanted to get it done for the team,” O’Brien commented.
“We’ve been struggling playing individuals recently. We’ve just got to get consistent playing as a team, getting as many assists as possible,” added sophomore setter Kendle Valade-Nunez.
“When we are communicating, no one can beat us,’ said Lawrence.
Heading into the game, the Bulldogs touted an 8-1 record, leading the NWAC’s North Division. Last year, the Bulldogs finished second in the north region and seventh in the NWAC, losing to Blue Mountain College from Mississippi. After last season, middle blocker Audrey Salens and setter Isabella Zubrod were given all NWAC North Region honors on the first team, and middle blocker Briar Perez on the second. Jennings and Zubrod have moved on after last season to pursue volleyball careers at four year colleges, Jennings at Warner Pacific and Zubrod at Pacific Lutheran.
The Bulldogs next face Everett on Nov. 4 at home before traveling to play Whatcom on Nov. 8.