Posted On: 08/23/19 10:20 PM

HASTINGS – They say it’s how you finish that matters, and Bellevue University proved that Friday night in an impressive 25-19, 25-18, 25-19 sweep of Hastings College at Farrell Arena Friday night in the Bill Marshall Invitational. 

Bellevue, ranked #22 in the preseason NAIA poll, improved to 5-1 on the season with the victory over Hastings, which was ranked #14 in the preseason poll and dropped to 0-2 on the year.

Both programs are chalk-full of former Nebraska high school standouts and are both traditionally in the NAIA national championship tournament each year. On Friday night, though, Bellevue was the team able to make needed adjustments and close out the sets strong.

Hastings had a 12-11 lead in the first set before Bellevue closed on a 14-7 run. In the second set, the Bruins broke a 13-13 tie by going on a 12-5 run to end the set. And in the final set, Hastings had a 13-10 lead before Bellevue again pulled away late with a 15-6 run.

Sierra Athen of Red Oak, Iowa, had eight kills and 12 digs in the match for Bellevue while Omaha Gross grad Rosa Reed-Bouley also had eight kills. Ord’s Andrea Carson and Sandy Creek’s Coree Lipovsky each had seven kills, as did setter Olivia Galas – also of Omaha Gross – and she also had 32 assists.

Ord’s Danielle Bruha led Hastings with eight kills and Freeman’s Emily Lenners had four, but it was a rough night attacking for the Broncos, which hit just .058 for the match. Millard South’s Jaisee Stinson had 14 assists for Hastings and St. Paul’s Bailey Lukasiewicz had 11 digs.

The schedule doesn’t get much easier for Hastings tomorrow either, as the Broncos will face #3 Grand View and #10 Eastern Oregon on Saturday.

Earlier on Friday, Bellevue nearly knocked off the third-ranked Grand View team before falling 23-25, 31-29, 23-25, 25-21, 15-5.

Athen had 16 kills and 11 digs in that match for Bellevue while Lipovsky had 15 kills and Carson had 14. Galas finished with 29 assists and 13 digs and Millard North’s Madi Evans added a team-best 16 digs for the Bruins.

Bellevue has just one match tomorrow, that coming against Eastern Oregon.