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Belles hope to finish home season strong

Justin Schuver | Friday, October 31, 2003

For the Saint Mary’s volleyball team, its season has literally come full circle.

The Belles finish the 2003 regular season at home today against Albion, the same team who they played in their conference opener Sept. 3.

In that match, Saint Mary’s fell in five sets.

Belles coach Julie Schroeder-Biek is anxious for her team to get another chance at Albion, especially considering how close the Belles were to defeating the Britons back in September.

“I am very excited to play this team, because we’ve improved so much since that first game,” she said. “It’s a really big win for us, because if we win this game we’ll be sixth in the conference and if we lose we’ll end up seventh.”

The Belles have shown great improvement over last season, in which the team went 7-21 and only won a single conference game. This year, Saint Mary’s has a 15-12 record going into the final game of the regular season and a 4-9 record in the MIAA.

Perhaps even more impressive is that the Belles have made such strides on a team with only one senior – libero Alison Shevik – on the roster. Freshman outside hitter Kristen Playko, who ranks in the top three in the MIAA in both kills and service aces, has led talented underclassmen this season – a year in which the Belles are not to be taken lightly by conference opponents.

“This year has really been about team improvement, but we’ve had some great individual performances as well,” Schroeder-Biek said. “We’ve made some big steps toward getting this program turned around.”

“We’ve really come out of the basement and have started to get respect from the other teams in this conference.”

Albion (10-20, 3-10 in the MIAA) is coming off a straight set victory over Olivet Wednesday.

The match’s tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m.