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Belles want to build on win

Justin Schuver | Tuesday, November 4, 2003

The Belles wanted to come into the MIAA tournament on a good note, and they accomplished that goal with a four set victory over Albion Friday.

Saint Mary’s (16-12, 5-9 in the MIAA), who wrapped up the sixth seed in the tournament, defeated Albion (10-21, 3-11) by the score of 30-28, 30-20, 24-30, 30-28. The Belles will visit third seed Hope (20-12, 11-3) in the first round of the tournament today.

“It was real important for us to get a win against Albion,” coach Julie Schroeder-Biek said. “We really wanted to play Hope, and we were able to solidify our sixth seed with that win.”

She added that setter Lauren Temple played an excellent game against Albion, running a potent offense that was able to keep the Britons’ defense off-guard.

“As a team we just played really well,” Schroeder-Biek said. “Lauren ran a great offense and really mixed it up. We need to work on getting our middles more involved in the flow, though, going into the tournament.”

The Belles’ defense also did a good job of handling Albion’s talented outside hitter Krystle Weeks, holding her to only nine kills in the four-game match. Weeks came into the match averaging almost three kills a game.

For the Belles offensively, outside hitter Kristen Playko led the team with 19 kills. Libero Alison Shevik was the team-leader in digs with 19; five other players collected more than 10 digs in the match.

Saint Mary’s now looks forward to Hope, a team that defeated the Belles both times they met during the regular season. Despite her team’s lack of success so far against the Flying Dutch, Schroeder-Biek has high hopes for her team’s first round match.

“We’ve always had a real rivalry with Hope,” she said. “We’ve played them real tough so far this year, even though we lost. They have weaknesses that I know we can take advantage of.

“This is a team we have a strong desire to beat.”

The Belles are relishing their role as an underdog and spoiler in the postseason.

“We just want to keep tallying away the wins,” Schroeder-Biek said. “We’d really like to go in there and mess up some higher seeds.”

The match is scheduled for 7 p.m.