The Northwest Athletic Conference Volleyball is in its final stretch before the championship tournament on Nov. 15, with Bellevue College currently holding second place in the North Region behind Edmonds. Their confirmed second place finish gives them a guaranteed spot in the NWAC championship tournament, but the Bulldogs still would like to close out the season well in their final match against the first place Edmonds team on Nov. 2.
Their 23-11 record, while second in their region, is good for 10th in the entire league out of 32 teams. The Bellevue College team is also fourth in hitting percentage and fifth in assists per set. The Bulldogs are also top ten in several other categories including kills per set, service aces, solo blocks and points per set.
Sophomore Jordan Hunter currently ranks in the top five in the League in kills and kills per set, at 271 and 3.43 respectively. Sophomore Carlee Rowell follows her with 179 kills off of a 35-hit percentage, which is good for third in the NWAC. Freshman Keegan Stobeck rounds out the top three with 99 kills of her own. Sophomores Megan Rodgers and Railey Holst leads the squad in assists with 460 and 218. Sophomore Tia Lawrence’s 296 digs more than doubles that of second place on the team as well. Overall, Hunter and Rowell have put up the majority of the team’s points with 293.5 and 233 respectively.
The prevalence of sophomores on the team is something Coach Jocelyn Lawrence considers a benefit. “Having seven returners can be a benefit and a crutch sometimes to get the freshmen to that level as well and to link them in to our plan,” Lawrence said as something that had been a huge part of their success. Through injuries and sickness, Lawrence expressed that they had been able to put different members in new positions in nearly every game. Thankfully, by being on the same page the Bulldogs were able to overcome the hurdles and continue thriving nonetheless.
Lawrence and the team look one game at a time and because of this haven’t prepared specifically for their game against Edmonds or the NWAC tournament. Instead, the team focuses on their side of the net and their performance as a team, with Lawrence stating that their basis for improving is by “doing things right on our side with our team and keeping our errors down.” She also noted that while the game against Edmonds would be a nice clinch for their season, that it doesn’t change the results in the standings.
Last year, the BC volleyball team made it to the finals in the NWAC tournament, with the championship team not having lost in the month of September. In that match the Bulldogs became the only team to take them to five sets in a match. Lawrence even believes that the set was theirs and they somewhat gave it away, but is proud nonetheless of their season last year. Coming into this tournament, Lawrence noted that once in the tournament, it’s anybody’s game and while the regular season prepares everyone for the tournament, anybody in it has a chance to win.