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Belles prepare to face Kalamazoo College

Joe Meixell | Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Saint Mary’s trip to Michigan today might be its most important of the year.

The team will be putting its three-game winning streak on the line against the Kalamazoo Hornets.

The Belles have managed to climb out of the cellar in the MIAA and are currently in fourth place.

The team now stands with a 4-5 record in league play and 4-8 overall.

But Kalamazoo will prove to be a real test for Saint Mary’s.

The Hornets have already defeated the Belles in four games earlier this year and have also won six of the last seven matches played.

Kalamazoo currently sits in third place in the league with an impressive record of 7-2 in the conference and 13-7 overall.

In the match played earlier this year, Amanda David and Shelly Bender both had strong offensive games for the Belles.

Stacey Stark collected nine kills in the contest, and Michelle Turley had a great game on defense with 15 digs. Ann Cusack added 10 digs.

The Belles will have to rely upon these leaders in this highly critical match.

This contest is crucial for Saint Mary’s because it is presently caught in a three-way tie for fourth place with Adrian and Albion.

A win could give the Belles sole possession of fourth place as the MIAA tournament approaches.

Saint Mary’s has overcome a variety of off-the-court problems in recent weeks and has made the decision to come together as a team.

Michelle Gary acknowledged the strength of Kalamazoo, but is confident in the team’s chances of winning and beating the rest of the teams on the schedule.

“Over the past week we have had a number of full practices,” Gary said. “We have done a lot of drilling and have decided as a team to take control and step up our overall play.”

Today’s game begins at 7 p.m.

After this match, the Belles will not get much rest following the match as they prepare to take on another conference rival.

Saint Mary’s will face Calvin College Friday.

Tonight will be the first of six consecutive away games for the team.