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Crucial stretch awaits Belles

Justin Schuver | Friday, September 19, 2003

Saint Mary’s (8-5, 1-3 MIAA) hopes to get back to their winning ways as they come home to face conference opponent Alma (8-3, 1-0) Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Belles lost to Adrian on the road Wednesday in straight sets and are anxious to pick up their second conference win of the year. Saint Mary’s defeated MIAA opponent Kalamazoo during the SMC Triangular tournament September 13.

Alma defeated Saint Mary’s in straight sets all three times they faced each other last year, including once in the season-opening Alma College Tournament.

If the Belles hope to end that losing streak to Alma, they will have to figure out how to stop a talented offensive attack.

Outside hitter Kristin Judson is among the Scots’ leaders in production, leading the team with 129 kills and 118 digs in 32 games so far this season.

Defensively, the team is well balanced, with three players with 20 or more blocks on the season. Middle hitter Erin Fralick leads the team with 25 blocks, and middle hitter Kelly O’Connor is right behind with 24 blocks.

Setter Lindsay Baker leads the Scots with 27 service aces and has only committed nine service errors so far this season.

Alma is coming off a straight-set victory over MIAA opponent Olivet Tuesday, in which their opponent never broke 20 points for a game.

The Belles are entering a crucial part of their schedule, in which they play five straight games at home, including three against conference opponents.

After Alma, Saint Mary’s will host Hope on Tuesday and face Olivet at home next Saturday.