The Bellarmine Lions began South Puget Sound League action on Sept. 24 when they hosted Sumner. The Spartans won 3-0.
Sumner jumped out to an 11-4 lead in the first set before the Lions began to claw their way back. The score was tied at 16 then Sumner increased its lead to 19-16. Sumner’s Kaeli McMurtrey sealed the victory when her serve sailed over the net and evaded the Lions, landing on the floor for a 25-22 win.
Sumner started strong in the second set for an 8-2 lead. A good spike from Bellarmine’s Gabrielle Ann Bernal put the score at 11-9 Sumner. Erika Herr came up with two impressive digs for the Spartans on the next rally. She then served during a stretch that saw Sumner increase its lead to 17-10. The Spartans won the set 25-19.
Two Sumner serves that hit the ground on the Bellarmine side of the net put the Spartans up 15-9. The Lions made some good plays that narrowed the lead to 23-22. Bellarmine’s Gabby Blair put a soft tap on the ball that tied the score. The Spartans were able to hold on for a 25-23 win.
Blair had 14 digs and 10 kills. Keeley Santillan had nine digs and eight kills, while Taylor Jackson contributed three kills and 28 assists.
Bellarmine head coach Caroline Meines said Sumner was a strong team last year and returned some talented players this season. “I knew they would be a tough opponent to start league play.” Meines described the Lions, with three freshmen on the varsity squad, as a young team. “We are still trying to figure out the best lineups.” Bellarmine’s overall record is now 1-6.