Bellevue is Reloading, not Rebuilding, with 10 New Bruins on Roster
BELLEVUE – While Bellevue University coach Trish Siedlik returns just three players from last year’s team that qualified for the NAIA National Tournament and finished the year ranked #19, she refuses to classify 2018 as a rebuilding season.
The Bruins have reached the NAIA National Tournament nine of the past 11 seasons. A total of 44 teams qualify for the NAIA National Tournament, with 24 teams playing a one-match play-in game and the other 20 teams receiving byes into the pool-play portion of the tournament. Then, 32 teams compete in the pool-play portion, which narrows the field to 16 teams that compete in a single-elimination bracket for the title.
In its past nine trips to the NAIA National Tournament, Bellevue has reached the pool-play round six times but did not reach the round of 16 bracket play. Siedlik said she thinks this group could push the Bruins over that hump.
“I really don’t think it is a rebuilding year, I actually think this is a move in the right direction that this program will be getting over the hump of not coming out of pool play,” Siedlik said. “We set out as a coaching staff to recruit champions. We went after kids that have played in the state tournament or national tournament for their club teams. Winning breeds winning.”
Yesterday, Bellevue was picked to finish second in the North Star Athletic Association behind three-time defending champion Viterbo University.
A vast majority of Bellevue’s roster is made up of athletes from Nebraska and Western Iowa, which Siedlik said is by design.
“After coaching for 17 years, I really do set out to get the best type of player that will fit our program and our chemistry. Part of that chemistry is working well with the coaching staff, which is striving every year to get better and not always worry about results to start with. The growth mindset will develop into a great program.,” she said. “More and more players are leaving the state of Nebraska and heading to bigger schools. I encourage those that may be on the fence about leaving home, to think about how many times your parents or your family will get to see you play. Four years does go by fast and to have that opportunity for them to see you play and be a part of their career is memorable and can’t be replaced.”
Here is a position-by-position look at Bellevue University for 2018.
Olivia Galas, 5’9, Fr., Omaha, Neb.
Without a doubt, the biggest question mark for the Bruins this season is at setter, where Bellevue must replace Maddie Squiers following her transfer to Nebraska-Kearney. Not only did she had 1,683 assists (10.58 per set) but added 181 kills and 449 digs. As the only setter on the roster, freshman Galas has been handed the keys to the Bellevue offense. She had 585 assists, 383 digs and 224 kills as a senior at Omaha Gross, where she was a three-year varsity setter.
Sierra Athen, 5’10, Fr., Red Oak, Iowa
Andrea Carson, 5’8, Soph., Ord, Neb.
Payton Fehringer, 5’9, Fr., Greenwood Village, Colo.
Shayla Scanlan, 6’2, Sr., Plattsmouth, Neb.
Scanlan absolutely is the straw that stirs the drink for Bellevue and was a third-team AVCA NAIA All-American last season. She works on the right side and has been dominant since her freshman year when she won the NSAA Freshman of the Year. She currently ranks 11thin school history in kills with 1,268. If Scanlan stays healthy she should finish at least second in school history for kills and trails all-time leader Brenda Quinn by 481. Carson looks to be the L1 for the Bruins after being a six-rotation outside as a freshman, finishing third on the team with 301 kills and adding 254 digs. Athen earned first team All-State honors while leading Red Oak to the Iowa Class 3A State Tournament a year ago. Fehringer played for Cherry Creek High School in Colorado, which finished second in Colorado’s 5A State Tournament.
Coree Lipovsky, 6’0, Fr., Fairfield, Neb.
Chloe Madigan, 5’10, Soph., Omaha, Neb.
Sienna Black, 6’0, Fr., Treynor, Iowa
Rosa Reed-Bouley, 6’1, Fr., Omaha, Neb.
Madigan is a transfer from Wayne State, where she played soccer. An Omaha Central graduate, she set the school record for hitting percentage and total blocks in a single season for the Eagles. Lipovsky was a multi-sport standout at Sandy Creek and was the #57 overall prospect in the class of 2018 in Nebraska. Black led Treynor with 89 blocks and a .315 hitting percentage last year with 204 kills and also qualified for state in the high jump. Rosa Reed-Bouley led Omaha Gross in kills, blocks and hitting percentage in both her junior and senior seasons. She was the #74 overall prospect in the state last year.
Madi Evans, 5’4, Fr., Omaha, Neb.
Reahgan Stueve, 5’6, Fr., Missouri Valley, Neb.
Sidney Craig, 5’3, Fr., Harlan, Iowa
Fabiola Aviles, 5’1, Sr., Guaynabo, Puerto Rico
Evans helped lead Millard North to a Class A state title and runner-up finish her final two years. She was the #33 overall recruit and #5 libero in the Nebraska class of 2018. She holds the Millard North career digs record. Alvies appeared in all 43 matches in her first year at Bellevue in 2017, finishing with 292 digs and 38 ace serves. Stueve finished her high school career as Missouri Valley’s all-time leader in kills, digs and ace serves. Craig was Harlan’s Female Athlete of the Year and led the volleyball team with 480 digs as a senior.