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Belles try to extend win streak

Justin Schuver | Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Saint Mary’s would love to keep their winning ways going on the road.

The Belles are currently on a four-game winning streak, but all those wins have been at home.

That streak gets a real test today as Saint Mary’s (8-4, 1-2 in the MIAA) travels to Adrian (6-4, 1-1 MIAA) in a key conference matchup.

“Adrian is always a good solid team,” Belles coach Julie Schroeder-Biek said. “They have this middle hitter who I believe might be the best middle hitter out of all our MIAA opponents.”

The middle hitter in question is Lauree Dermyer, who leads the Bulldogs with 170 kills (4.47 kills per game) and is tied for the team lead with 19 service aces. She also has an impressive .445 hitting percentage.

Libero Kacie Ehinger is Adrian’s defensive leader with a total of 180 digs through 10 matches.

“Our practice today was similar to what we practiced against Calvin [where the Belles lost in three games],” Schroeder-Biek said. “We have to be able to defend that great middle attack Adrian has.”

Adrian will need to look to have its defense ready as well, as the Belles’ offense feeds off its outside attackers – especially freshman Kristen Playko.

Playko has adjusted to the college game quicker than perhaps anyone could imagine. She is currently tied for the MIAA lead in kills, and holds the highest kill-per-game average in the entire conference.

She is the only freshman in the top 10 in kills, and also has made the top ten lists in service aces (third, with 0.77 per game) and digs (ninth, with 3.85 per game).

With two talented individuals in Dermyer and Playko, and two teams hungry for an MIAA win, the match should be an entertaining one.

“I am really excited and think it’s going to be a great match,” Schroeder-Biek said.

Following the Adrian match, Saint Mary’s returns home and continues its conference schedule by facing Alma Sunday at 1 p.m.