Viterbo University coach Ryan DeLong was seeking consistency out of his V-Hawks women’s volleyball team on Thursday, and that’s what he got.
The No. 2 V-Hawks (30-1, 14-0 NSAA) won their 62nd straight home match with a three-set sweep over Bellevue. Viterbo won 25-16, 25-15, 25-16 in front of 113 fans at R.W. Beggs Gymnasium.
With the win, the V-Hawks clinched the No. 1 seed in the upcoming North Star Athletic Association conference tournament, which will begin next weekend.
“I thought we played a solid match and came out strong,” DeLong, in his 13th season as V-Hawks coach, said. “I never really thought we had any let-ups tonight.”
It also put Viterbo at the top of the NSAA for the third straight season.
Bellevue (26-10, 11-5) is no slouch. The Bruins are ranked No. 22, but had little answer for anything that Viterbo offered all night.
Bruins junior Shayla Scanlan had a team-high nine kills.
“We knew what they were going to do,” DeLong said. “We knew Scanlan was going to get her kills, and that she’s good from the right side. We knew if we could maintain everybody else, we had a pretty good chance.”
The Bruins tied the V-Hawks 14-14 in the third set, and that was the latest tie or lead that Bellevue had. The V-Hawks ended the night on an 11-2 run.
In that run, Natalie Geidel had three of her 19 kills. Geidel’s 19 kills were a match-high for Viterbo, and had eight of them in the opening set in the regular-season home finale.
Geidel also led the V-Hawks with six blocks.
wanted to come in and work hard on the things we worked on in practice,” Geidel said. “You can feel the pressure with nationals coming soon. That’s where we really have to play our game all the time.”
Sure, the focus is on seniors Amelia Grahn — who led with 36 assists — and Geidel, but the younger V-Hawks put in their worth in the three-set win.
For example, Sparta High School graduate and current V-Hawks junior Aubrey Aspen was Viterbo’s No. 2 leading hitter with eight kills. Freshman Maya Roberts had seven kills.
Viterbo’s leader in aces was 6-foot freshman Katie Frohmader at four. Frohmader had two aces in the second set that helped the V-Hawks get out to a 9-3 lead that they did not squander.
The V-Hawks will go on the road one more time before the conference tournament with a weekend jaunt to South Dakota to face Dakota State today and Presentation College on Saturday.
Viterbo has swept both DSU and Presentation in three-setters.