BELMONT – On Belmont’s Senior Night, the seniors and the Braves had a lot to celebrate after sweeping away Cassville in three sets to earn their first Six Rivers West victory of the season.
Senior Kailee Kamps recorded 19 assists, 10 digs and six kills to lead the Lady Braves to a 25-16, 25-15 and 25-20 decision over the visiting Comets at BHS on Tuesday, Sept. 20.
“It felt amazing,” said first-year Belmont head coach Megan Richardson following her first conference victory. “The girls definitely deserved it. They have worked so hard and have great attitudes. They knew it would come.”
Just one night after dropping a heartbreaking 3-2 SRW match to previously winless Benton, the Lady Braves (2-8 overall, 1-5 in SRW) bounced back and stunned the Comets (2-4) by rolling to a sweep.
Junior Cassie McCarthy gave the Braves a 19-4 lead in the opening set after firing up three aces during a seven-point service run, but the guests weren’t about to go down quietly.
Cassville cut the gap to 20-14 before kills by Belmont’s Makenzie Kamps, Keegan Kamps and McCarthy squashed the threat. An ace by M. Kamps moments later gave the Braves a 25-16 win.
The hosts jumped out to another early in lead in set two, and this time around it was Ka. Kamps turn to cool off the Comets at the service line. A seven-point run by the senior setter/outside hitter pushed the Braves out to a 15-6 advantage and her four-point run later in the set sealed the 25-15 decision for a 2-0 advantage.
Cassville built up a 16-11 lead in set three before the Braves dug down deep and mounted a valiant comeback. A 9-1 run by Richardson’s crew turned the five-point deficit into a three-point lead, and then a tip kill and a block kill by McCarthy brought the score to 23-19 in Belmont’s favor.
A spike kill by Ka. Kamps brought the Braves to game-point, and a back-row kill by Emily Cushman ended it as Belmont locked up the sweep with a 25-20 win.
“Playing together, communicating and not making as many errors as we have in the past were keys to this victory,” Richardson noted. “They know they have the talent, they just needed to get over the hump.” Sophomore Jordyn Kamps registered eight kills and Ke. Kamps, a freshman, added six kills and two blocks to lead a fine night at the net for the hosts. McCarthy also had two blocks with four aces, while Cushman and Molly Bockhop chipped in with five digs apiece for the Braves.
“I am so proud of this team. They have come leaps and bounds since the first day of practice. I would like to see them play at their level and not make as many mistakes. I’m so excited for the second half of the season,” beamed Richardson.
Belmont hosts Shullsburg on Thursday, Sept. 29, and heads to Potosi on Monday, Oct. 3, in SRW action. On Saturday, Oct. 1, the Lady Braves will participate in the 2011 North Crawford Invitational in Soldiers Grove, starting at 9 a.m.
Correction: In last week’s Belmont volleyball story, Keegan Kamps’ team-high 12 kills were credited to Kailee Kamps. Also, Emma Lee matched Molly Bockhop with a team-high 17 digs in the match. The R.J. regrets these errors and omissions and any problems they may have caused.
Cassville….. 16 15 20
Belmont…… 25 25 25