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Bellevue University athletics recap

Bellevue University athletics recap

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Women’s basketballThe Bellevue University’s Women’s basketball team opened their season on Oct. 26 with a 12 point win over Peru State.

Five Bruins scored in double figures as the Bellevue University women’s basketball team earned a 71-59 victory over Peru State College in the Bruins’ season-opener Tuesday night at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.

The Bruins (1-0) were led by senior Elexis Martinez who registered 12 points and nine rebounds.

Asha Scott recorded 11 points and four boards, while Taeha Pankey, Laura Jurek, and Faith Ross all finished with 10 points. Pankey’s 10 points all came from the free-throw line as she finished a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe. Jurek added seven boards while Ross collected five assists and three rebounds in the victory.

On Oct. 25, the women’s basketball team, coming off a 17-7 (11-3 NSAA) season in 2020-21, has been picked to finish second in a survey of North Star Athletic Association coaches, as announced by the NSAA.

BU returns 11 of 13 letter-winners off last year’s team and welcomes four newcomers into the fold in the form of a transfer and three freshmen signees.

Headlining the returners are senior forward and three-time All-American Martinez (16.0 PPG, 6.3 RPG) as well as junior guard and two-time first team all-conference Ross (12.6 PPG, 4.3 RPG). Two other starters return in junior guard Pankey (7.0 PPG, 2.0 APG) and junior forward Jurek (5.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG).

Also back for Bellevue are seven key contributors. The junior class is comprised of guards Lexi Allen (3.4 PPG, 39.6 3FG%), Miranda Hennings (2.5 PPG), and Meleah Turner (0.5 PPG0; guard Delaney VanBlaricon (5.0 PPG, 38.7 3FG%) represents the sophomore class; guards Kaziah Terrell (1.9 PPG) and Aminah Hall (1.7 PPG) and forward Shelby Little (2.8 PPG, 2.1 RPG) each retain their freshman eligibility from a year ago.

Junior, 5-8, guard Asha Scott (Washington, D.C./West Texas A&M) adds considerable high-level experience to the backcourt.

Freshmen, 5-11, guard Ashtyn Arnold (Clovis, Calif./Buchanan HS) and 6-0, forward Arantxa Fonseca (San Diego, Calif./Mount Miguel HS) add significant length to the Bruin perimeter while 6-3 center Jillian Friedman (Carmichael, Calif./El Camino HS) gives Bellevue some needed depth inside.

Men’s basketballThe Bellevue University men’s basketball team, coming off a 20-win season and return to the NAIA National Tournament in 2020-21, has been picked to finish second in a survey of North Star Athletic Association coaches, as announced by the NSAA on Oct. 25.

BU returns seven letter-winners, including three starters, off last year’s team and welcomes nine newcomers for 2021-22.

Returning starters for the Bruins are senior guard Eric Piece (10.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG), junior center Justin Motley (5.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 41 blocked shots), and junior guard Paulo Araujo (4.9 PPG, 37.6 3FG%).

Also back for BU are senior centers Isaiah Bates (5.3, 71.8 FG%) and Vaj Rice (4.4 PPG, 2.6 RPG) along with freshman guard Vinny Belcaster (5.9 PPG, 1.6 A/TO).

New to the team are three junior transfers and four sophomore transfers. Comprising the junior class is are 6-4, forward Somtochukwu Boardman (Antioch, Calif./Los Medanos College); 6-0, guard, Jerome Bynum (Chicago, Ill./Southern Arkansas Tech); 5-11, and guard Cole Jones (Pond Creek, Okla./Northwestern Oklahoma State).

Making up the sophomore class are 5-1, guard Barrett Harms (Flower Mound, Texas/Brookhaven College); 6-5, forward Makeem Loudermill (Falcon, Ark/Southern Arkansas Tech); 6-5, forward Hunter Mengel (Bellevue, Neb./Midland University); and 6-3, guard, Taylor Pomeroy (Portland, Ore./Lower Columbia College).

A pair of 6-1 freshman guards round out the newcomers in Darryl Bennett (Omaha, Neb./Omaha North HS) and Christian Carter (Concord, Calif./De La Salle HS).

Bellevue men’s basketball picks up first win of the season

The Bellevue University men’s basketball team never trailed, dominating from the opening tip, en route to a 72-52 win over Sterling College on Oct. 27 in the first round of the Jeff Uphaus Memorial Tournament.

Vinny Belcaster led three Bruins (1-1) in double figures with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Eric Pierce added 13 points, six rebounds, and three steals while Makeem Loudermill chipped in 10 points, six rebounds, and three steals off the bench.

The Bruins and Warriors traded buckets early on before Bellevue used a 10-0 run, punctuated by a Makeem Loudermill baseline dunk, to seize control of the game.

Bellevue pushed their lead to as many as 23, at 34-11, on a three pointer from Belcaster before taking a 39-18 lead into halftime. BU shot 47.1 percent in the first half while Sterling struggled to just a 20 percent effort in the opening period.

Belcaster scored the first five points of an 8-0 Bruin run out of the break as the Bruins took a 47-18 lead just 1:24 into the second half.

The Bruins led by as many as 31 points, 52-21, with 15:16 to play.

Offensively, Bellevue took better care of the ball than in the opener as they committed just 12 turnovers and, defensively, limited Sterling to just a 29.8 percent effort from the floor and 4-of-20 shooting from deep.

BU dominated the glass, 47-37, with Justin Motley pacing the rebounding effort with 11 boards to go along with a trio of blocked shots.

VolleyballAnnounced on Oct. 25, for the second time this season, freshman libero Taylan Keefer was named the North Star Athletic Association’s Defender of the Week for her efforts in helping Bellevue move into sole possession of second place in the conference standings.

Keefer averaged 7.0 digs per set as the Bruins rolled to a 3-0 NSAA victory at Valley City State in their lone match last week. She collected 21 digs in the victory while also adding a season-high seven set assists.

Keefer currently leads the Bruins with 379 total digs and 4.57 digs per set. She is second on the squad with 66 set assists and fifth with 15 service aces.

No. 11 Bruins cruise to sweep over Doane


Three Bruins recorded double-figure kill totals as the 11th-ranked Bellevue University volleyball team cruised to a 3-0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-19) victory over visiting Doane University on Oct. 26 in non-conference action at the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.

With the win, the Bruins improved to 19-5 on the season. Doane, who received votes in the latest NAIA top 25 poll, fell to 18-11 overall.

Bellevue, who never trailed in the match, hit .250 in the victory while the BU defense held the Tigers to a -.008 hitting clip.

Eve Fountain hit .550 with 11 kills on 20 errorless swings while adding 12 digs for her team-leading 16th double-double of the season.

Sierra Athen also produced 11 kills while adding five digs and a pair of blocks.

Haley Fleischman was the third Bruin in double figures, finishing with 10 kills on .533 hitting. She also finished with a match-high four blocks as BU held a 9-3 advantage in total blocks.

The BU defense was anchored by Taylan Keefer’s match-high 17 digs. Keefer added five assists as well.

Sienna Black came off the bench to produce four kills on .400 hitting and a pair of blocks.

Olivia Galas dished out 35 assists while adding seven digs, two blocks and two kills.

The Tigers were led by Gabby Menghini who notched a double-double with a match-high 13 kills along with 12 digs.

Men’s soccer Bellevue University senior AJ Jarvis (Kings Lynn, England) has been recognized as the Continental Athletic Conference’s Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week, as announced by the CAC office on Oct. 25.

Jarvis now has a 0.81 goals against average on the season and a .683 save percentage. However, over the team’s last seven games his goals against average is 0.13 and he has produced a save percentage of .923 on 13 shots on goal.

Women’s golfBruin head women’s golf coach announced today the signing of Maria Pinedov (Neiva, Columbia/Colegio Columbo Inglés de Huila) to a letter of intent to continue her academic studies and athletic career at Bellevue University.

Pinedov will join the Bruins later this year and will be eligible to compete in the spring of 2022.

Pinedov registered an impressive scoring average of 78.2 strokes per round during her junior career.

“We are excited to have Maria joining our golf team to compete with us this spring,” said Liddick. “Maria will be a strong player for us and make an immediate impact on our program. We are looking forward to a successful Spring.”

Under Liddick’s tutelage, the Bruins have won eight conference championships and qualified for the NAIA National Tournament on seven occasions, finishing in the top 10 three times. Liddick has mentored 12 All-Americans in the 10-year existence of the program.

Liddick announced on Oct. 27 the addition of Ilysia Ibnu (Taiping, Malaysia), who will join the Bruins and begin her academic and athletic careers at BU beginning in the Winter semester.

A native of Taiping, Malaysia, Ibnu won six tournaments as a junior and three State Amateur Tournaments. She also has competed internationally maintaining a Top 10 finish in every tournament.

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