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Belles bounce back with wins

Justin Schuver | Tuesday, October 14, 2003

The Belles got a pair of much-needed wins this weekend on the road at the Tri-State University Triangular.Saint Mary’s (14-10, 2-7 in MIAA) defeated host school Tri-State University Saturday with a score of 36-34, 30-24, 30-27. The Belles later knocked off University of Michigan – Dearborn by the score of 30-28, 30-24, 29-31, 30-18 to win the Tri-State Triangular.”During the whole day, I was happy with how our players maintained their poise,” coach Julie Schroeder-Biek said. “The officiating was not some of the best we’ve ever seen, but we were able to control the things we had to control to win.”One of the factors contributing to the Belles’ tournament victory was a newfound offensive production by the middle attack. Middle hitter Elise Rupright led the team with 12 kills against Tri-State, and middle hitter Shelly Bender contributed 10 kills to the win over UMD.The team continued to get its usual production from outside hitter Kristen Playko, as well, with the freshman collecting 18 kills and 19 digs against UMD and 11 kills and 15 digs against Tri-State. Classmate Ann Cusack had a solid day at the defensive specialist position, collecting 42 total digs in the two matches.The Belles came into the Triangular on a three-game losing streak, including two conference losses. The wins Saturday came at a time when the team needed a momentum of change.”It was a real good boost for us to win this thing,” Schroeder-Biek said. “I think we really played good team volleyball. The team really talked a lot better.”We need that kind of communication going into the home stretch. We’re too good of a team to be where we are in the conference standings right now.”