Despite losing for the second time this season to a strong Lexington High School team, Belmont High Volleyball Senior Becki Sandvos came off the Wenner Field House court with a smile on her face.
“It’s definitely tough but it’s really fun to play against these good teams,” Sandvos said after Belmont suffered it’s fifth loss of the season on Friday afternoon, Oct. 24, falling to the Minutemen 3-1 (15-25, 25-14, 10-25, 19-25) to see their record sit at 14-5 going into the last game of the season against Winchester on Monday, Oct. 27.
“A lot of [today’s match] was a mental game. We know we can play better than that,” Sandvos said. But Belmont has the same issue so many teams have while playing the Minutemen and that is junior Nikita Selivan, a 6 foot, 160 pound who is one of the best middle-hitters in the region.
With a powerful shot and an approach jump of more than 9 feet, it’s small wonder that Division 1 college programs are already knocking on her door. In the game with Belmont, Lexington would routinely pass up easier set ups at the net and direct its attention to Selivan who would beat the majority of blocks set up by Belmont’s front line. She would also block a number of shots from Belmont players.
In the second set, Belmont took control. Trailing 7-8, Belmont rode Sandvos’ serving and junior Kabita Das and senior Rosy Fitzgerald’s excellent play at the net to a 8-0 run to lead 15-8, an advantage Lexington could not break.
“We had a lot of confidence in the second set. Everything we did was working,” said Sandvos, who played one of her best games of the year especially setting up offensive strikes.
Early in the third set with the score 3-7, the Lexington head coach vigorously disputed a call and yelled at a supposed fan touting him (which turned out to be Belmont AD Jim Davis simply viewing the action). That stoppage seemed to both rattle the Marauders and take it out of its rhythm. Lexington build the lead to 16-9 as the Minutemen continually going to Selivan on the left side of the court.
With the score knotted at nine in the fourth set, Belmont committed several errors on its service, preventing any semblance of a rally to occur. The Minutemen pushed the lead up to four, 14-18, which the Marauders cut to 17-19. But that’s as close as Belmont would get.
Despite the loss, Belmont will likely have a home playoff game in the Div. 2 North sectionals that begins this week.
“We’re gonna come back and practice and work hard and be ready for for the states,” Sandvos said.