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Eagle Volleyball Falls to Belmont in Five Sets

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In a match where the momentum continually switched back and forth, the Morehead State volleyball team came up just short as they fell to Belmont in five sets. The defeat makes them 1-1 in OVC play and 4-12 overall. They lost 25-13, 19-25, 22-25, 25-21, 10-15.

After winning their OVC opener last night against Tennessee State, the Eagles came into this match with positive energy and used that to their advantage. They scored the first three points of the match and jumped out to an early 9-3 lead. Never allowing the Bruins back into the first, they continued to extend that lead until they won the set, 25-13.

Junior Courtney Smith led the way with four kills in the first and freshman Merideth Jewell added three of their own. The Eagles hit .385 in the set.

But, the Bruins would bounce back, as would be the case for both teams the entire night. With the set tied at 14, Belmont would outscore MSU 11-5 the rest of the way to take the second, 25-19. Belmont carried that momentum into the third, opening up a 23-16 lead late in the set. But, the Eagles charged back with three straight points of their own and then thwarted off three consecutive BU set points before eventually falling, 25-22.

Riding a hot streak at the end of the third set, despite the loss, the Eagles would rally to knot things up in the fourth. They scored the first four points of the set and never trailed, en route to a 25-21 set win.

In their second five-set match in as many days, the Eagles jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead, just as they did in the fourth set. But, the momentum would then switch one last time as the Bruins mounted a 10-1 run that would put them up 10-5 and it was too much for MSU to overcome. They battled back to get it to 11-9, but Belmont went on to win, 15-11.

"It's one of those (games) that's a little bittersweet, but we made some good steps forward," said head coach Jaime Gordon. "It gets a little frustrating when you find yourself in position to win and you let that slip, but I think our team showed a lot of composure this weekend. Belmont is a very good team, they beat EKU last night in a pretty convincing manner. For us to come off of an emotional five-setter like we did last night and then perform the way we did is a testament to the way we're working hard and improving."

Despite the loss, the Eagles limited Belmont to just a .133 hitting percentage, while putting together a .287 of their own. Belmont had 52 kills to Morehead State's 49 and 43 digs to the Eagles' 42.

"One of the bright spots for us this weekend was our offense, it's very rare that you out-hit your opponent like we did tonight and lose," said Gordon. "When we struggled a bit tonight, our offense was there, we just weren't getting enough swings and that's something we'll need to improve on."

Jewell led the Eagles with 13 kills and 10 digs, while hitting .229. Senior Hannah Sigala finished with 11 kills, while Smith continued her strong play with 10 kills and hit .286. Junior Sydney Schuler had eight kills, while hitting an impressive .533.

Morehead State returns to action on Wednesday night as they go to Richmond, Ky. to face EKU at 7 p.m. They then host Austin Peay on Saturday at 2 p.m

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