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Adrian halts Belles’ win streak

Justin Schuver | Thursday, September 18, 2003

The Belles lost in straight sets Wednesday, but their coach doesn’t think the score tells the whole story.”I just feel like we beat ourselves,” coach Julie Schroeder-Biek. “The problem was that we dug ourselves big holes and then couldn’t get back out of them.”Saint Mary’s (8-5, 1-3 MIAA) fell to conference opponent Adrian (7-4, 2-1) on the road by a score of 20-30, 27-30, 32-30. The loss breaks the Belles’ four-game winning streak, which began on Sept. 11 at home against Rochester.This loss was especially tough to take for the Belles, because their coach believes Adrian had a few chinks in its armor, but the Belles were never able to capitalize.Schroeder-Biek said a large portion of the problem stemmed from a sub-par passing game, which has typically been a strength for the team.”Today our passing game was real down,” she said. “We should have been all over Adrian’s defense. Their middle blockers weren’t that good, and there were other holes in their defense, but because we couldn’t pass we weren’t able to capitalize.”Despite lousy offensive play overall, the Belles still had a few individual standouts.Freshman outside hitter Kristen Playko continued her consistent rookie campaign by leading the team with 14 kills. Middle hitter Elise Rupright added 10 kills while also adding three blocks.On the defensive side, defensive specialist Alison Shevik led the team with 14 digs and libero Ann Cusack added 11 digs. Setter Lauren Temple had 27 assists.A key goal for Saint Mary’s coming into the game was to stop Adrian’s vaunted middle attack. Schroeder-Biek said her team had mixed results concerning that goal.”I don’t feel as though we were completely successful in that goal,” she said. “[Their middle attack] didn’t hurt as much as it could have but it was not our best match by any means.”The Belles went down by a score of 13-2 in the second game at one point, but were able to battle back and make it close. In the third game, Saint Mary’s and Adrian went neck-and-neck before the Bulldogs finally got the crucial final points to send the Belles home with the loss.”It was just little mistakes here and there,” Schroeder-Biek said. “We kept making the same mistakes again and again.”Saint Mary’s will try to regroup as they move into a crucial point in their schedule. The Belles have three straight games at home against conference foes.