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Belles’ season comes to an end with hard-fought loss

Justin Schuver | Thursday, November 6, 2003

The Belles put up a good fight, but their season came to an end Tuesday night against Hope in the first round of the MIAA tournament. Saint Mary’s fell to the Flying Dutch by a score of 28-30, 18-30, 28-30.

“I thought we played really well in the first and third games,” coach Julie Schroeder-Biek said. “That second game, though, Hope really controlled it; it just seemed we were struggling in that game.”

No. 6 seed Saint Mary’s jumped out to a big lead against No. 3 seed Hope right away, taking a quick 7-0 lead in the first game. The Flying Dutch managed to scratch their way back into the game and eventually took the win by taking advantage of some questionable calls against the Belles.

“There were two calls in that first game where the line judges called touches on our block,” Schroeder-Biek said. “Nobody else saw it on our side, but we can’t really complain about thhe officials – they weren’t the reason we lost.

“We missed some big serves at key times.”

Outside hitter Kristen Playko tied with Hope’s Julie VanderSlice as the kills leader, with 11. Libero Alison Shevik, the only senior on this year’s team, led all players with 20 digs.

“Alison came into the tournament averaging about five kills a game, and she really stepped it up in this match. I was proud of the way she played.”

As a team, Saint Mary’s hitting percentage of .177 was not that far off from Hope’s .214. The blocking department was a different matter, however, as the Belles could only muster two blocks compared to Hope’s 12.

The loss ends the Belles’ 2003 season.

“It was over too quick for me,” Schroeder-Biek said. “These players were so incredibly enjoyable. Our goal in past years has been to try and rebuild this program, and I think this year a foundation got laid.

“We’re going to keep moving on from here.”

A good sign for next year’s team is that the Belles only lose one player, Shevik. Despite only one senior loss, Schroeder-Biek said that Shevik’s contributions will be missed next year.

“We’re really going to miss Allison. Even though we only lose one senior, she’s a big part of why we had such good chemistry this year.

“She was always the one who would make us laugh and stay loose.”