There was no early morning letdown as Salt Lake Community College came out on fire. The Bruins defeated the Rebels of Hill College in 3 sets (25 – 12, 25 – 15, 25 – 17) and will face Western Nebraska Community College at 5:30 p.m. That game can be seen here.
The 6-seed Bruins will need to cut back on their errors and communicate better to advance against the No. 3 seed in the tournament.
The Bruins lost to WNCC in a barnburner during the regular season. The fifth set went to the Cougars with a score of 13 to 15. WNCC finished the season ranked third in the nation while SLCC finished ranked No. 7.
The game was early enough in the season, that the newly emerged Mariana Pilon could throw a wrinkle at WNCC. Bailee Kendall seems to be hitting with power, and Carol Grasso is hitting with precision and some crazy spin that opponents seem to have difficulty handling. Fans can expect a dogfight.
SLCC is three wins from the championship, but WNCC will be a true test of how well the Bruins have come together. WNCC won their first game against Hutchison College in a sweep.
Set One vs. Hill College
After taking a 0 to 1 lead, Hill College never saw the lead again. The Rebels were not athletic enough to keep up with the Bruins, and they had no big hitters. Kendall finished the game with a kill that gave SLCC the set at 25 to 12.
Hill’s defense woke up, and they were able to play the Bruins close. Janessa Koelliker tied the game at 9, just as the Rebels seemed to be playing their best defense. The Bruins, however, decided to meet Hill on its own terms. Three blocks, including one by Koelliker and one by Grasso, sandwiched a long hit by Hill to give the Bruins a 13 to 9 lead.
The Bruins ran off 5 straight points to make the score 19 to 12. A Grasso serve into the net gave Hill their last point of the set at 15. Baylie Henrie finished the set with a save that Hill wasn’t ready for.
Hill was able to stay with the Bruins through point 5. However, that defensive battle was the Rebels last stand as SLCC put the hammer down. With the score 13 to 9, the Rebels couldn’t take advantage of two miscues by the Bruins. A long hit gave the point to SLCC to make it 14 to 9.
Grasso put the ball down with authority to make the score 18 to 14. A Hill error gave SLCC the next point, and then Jillian Campbell took over. She blocked the ball to make it 20 to 14 and Hill called a timeout.
Out of the timeout, Campbell killed it into the center, and the she blocked another ball back into the Rebels. A Rebel kill resulted in the score of 22 to 15, but Henrie went in for a straight up kill on a return. Two SLCC errors put the score at 23 to 17. A Grasso kill and a Sequoia Lofton block gave the Bruins the set and the match.
The Globe will be publishing game summary and results for the Bruins volleyball team again on Friday. If the Bruins lose to WNCC, they will play again on Friday at 2:30 p.m. If the Bruins win, they will play on Friday at 6:30 p.m.