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Belles sweep Chicago for fourth straight win

Justin Schuver | Tuesday, September 16, 2003

What a difference two weeks make. In the first match of the season back on Aug. 30, Saint Mary’s faced the University of Chicago in a scrimmage game at the SMC Triangular, losing in straight sets to the visitors.

Monday, the Belles returned the favor, knocking out the Maroons in straight sets by a score of 30-19, 32-30, 30-28. Saint Mary’s currently has a four-game winning streak.

“The University of Chicago is a good team,” Belles coach Julie Schroeder-Biek said. “Even though they had some injuries and only dressed eight, they still had the strength of their team out on the court.

“I was happy with how when our players lost the momentum they were able to bring it back.”

The Belles got off to an easy first game victory, but struggled in the second game, trailing by eight points at one time. Schroeder-Biek said many of these struggles could be pinned on a poor serving game.

Saint Mary’s had 12 missed serves in the three games.

It was not until players like libero Michelle Gray re-ignited the stalled Belles offense that Saint Mary’s was able to hold the Maroons at 28 points and eventually come back to win 32-30.

“Michelle is really the one who turned game two around for us,” Schroeder-Biek said. “She got her serves going and aced Chicago a few times, came up with some great digs and really provided a spark for us to get back in that game.”

Gary finished the match with seven digs and three service aces.

Among other notable players, outside hitter Kristen Playko led the team with 15 kills and 19 digs and tied Gary for the team lead with three service aces.

Middle hitter Elise Rupright had 10 kills and four blocks, and outside attacker Ann Carpenter collected 11 kills and nine digs. Setter Lauren Temple led the team with 36 assists and added 10 digs.

“Because both teams have grown so much since that scrimmage at the start of the year, I thought it would be a bit more of a battle,” Schroeder-Biek said. “I was happy with how we were able to beat them in three [sets].”

Saint Mary’s travels to Adrian Wednesday to face the MIAA-rival Bulldogs.