Coming in to their Tuesday night clash against Everett, the Bulldogs looked to extend their winning streak to four. Standing second in the north division, Bellevue is at 10-2 in league play and has already clinched a spot in the NWAAC Championships. Coach Jocelyn Lawrence said she will use Tuesday night’s game as a momentum builder and will use lessons learned from the game to tweak the team’s performance. She said they will use what they need to change in the game plan in order to bring the championship to Bellevue once again.
It was clear from the first set that both teams were pretty much equally matched with both teams trading the first 10 points. For Bellevue, the key was to block all kill attempts and quickly set up a kill for themselves. Everett was more concerned with moving the ball around the court before going for the spike. About mid-way through the set BC lost focus, and Everett stepped up their defense as they went on a run to take a 12-7 lead. After a timeout by coach Lawrence, the Bulldogs tied the game at 17 and later put together a couple of five- and four- point runs that allowed Bellevue to win the first set 25-21.
During the second set, Bellevue picked up right where they left off, and Everett matched what Bellevue brought to the game. The Bulldog’s three front-line players were dominant in this set, blocking a majority of Everett’s kill attempts and helping Bellevue jump out to an 11-5 early lead. Bellevue’s #11 made the play of the game with a fingertip save and setup for a kill that extended the Bulldogs’ lead to 8. Bellevue took a commanding 2-0 lead going into the half.
According to coach Lawrence, the 10-minute break at halftime can be the key springboard to a second half comeback if the losing team takes full advantage of it. “The 10-minute break we take always [gives an] advantage to the team that is behind,” she said. Taking advantage of that break, Everett came out with a 1-10 lead to open the second half. Halfway through the set, Everett dictated the point of play with their kills to a 7-17 lead. “We struggled a little bit this year [when we came] out to game three out of the 10-minute break,” Lawrence said. The Bulldogs finished the third set and cut the lead to 4 at 20-24. Ultimately, Bellevue lost the first two sets of the second half, which were pretty much identical.
However, during the fifth set, Bellevue pulled ahead to win the game. A Bellevue player said she believed “we knew that we were going to win the game, and that [is] why we brought it.” Her fellow teammate echoed her opinion, stating, “The fight in our team really showed last night … and we knew the game should not have gone to five sets.”
Coach Lawrence stated that she was excited about the Bulldogs’ potential matchup with Walla Walla, because they had knocked Bellevue out of their own tournament that they hosted. “We have some redemption against them… They made us take fourth in our own tournament,” she said. She also stated that she believes that the team has not reached its full potential yet and believes that should be scary for other teams, because they have no clue what they could be facing. The next time that the Bulldogs step onto the court they must win or go home.