BELMONT — It’s been a long time coming 15 years to be exact.
With a 25–17, 25–14, 16–25, 25–16 victory over Shullsburg last Tuesday night, the Belmont volleyball team claimed its first conference title since 1998.
“It was an exciting night for the girls,” said second-year Belmont head coach Lauren Runde. “They did a really nice job defensively. We do a better job covering, every game. We have been mixing up our sets more and getting all of our hitters on. It has really boosted confidence in some of our younger players, and it shows.”
Senior Audrey Wedig, with nine digs, and junior Keegan Kamps (nine digs, four blocks) led the Braves’ defensive effort.
Senior Jordyn Kamps floored 26 kills, junior Brianna Richers added eight, and fellow junior Katelyn Schobert passed out 24 assists to power the offers. Wedig also served up a team-high aces.
“It has been a fun season so far,” said Runde. “It’s great to see the gym get a little more crowded every game. I’m not sure if the girls even realize what this has done for our volleyball program. By them working so hard and being successful, it has sparked an interest in so many of the younger girls in town.
“In the past few years the coaches here have turned the basketball program around and now my hopes are to do the same with volleyball. We can only hope to bring the school the same amount of success that the softball teams have done here for many years. My girls have proved that hard work, pays off. I am very proud of each of them and we look forward to starting tournaments on Tuesday.”
The Braves finished the regular season 16–7–1 and 10–2 in the Six Rivers West, two full games ahead of co-runner-ups Highland and Potosi (8–4).
Belmont will now turn its attention to the WIAA playoffs.
The second-seeded Braves opened the Division 4 playoffs Tuesday at home against No. 15 Kickapoo. With a win Belmont will host either No. 7 Argyle or No. 10 Ithaca on Thursday. With another victory the Braves would host the regional final Saturday night.
Belmont 3, Shullsburg 1
(from Tuesday, Oct. 15 @ Belmont)
Shullsburg 17 14 25 16
Belmont 25 25 16 25
Belmont stat leaders
Kills: Jordyn Kamps 26, Brianna Riecher 8. Blocks: Keegan Kamps 4, Janiie deHaan 1, Riechers 1. Assists: Katelyn Schobert 34. Aces: Audrey Wedig 4, Emma Lee 2. Digs: K. Kamps 9, Audrey Wedig 9.