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Saint Mary’s hopes to get win against Olivet

Justin Stetz | Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Fall break was not kind to the Saint Mary’s volleyball team as the Belles dropped three matches in a row.

The losses placed Saint Mary’s in seventh place in the MIAA with a record of 5-10 and only one conference game remaining on the schedule.

In the first game, the Belles traveled to Adrian College to take on the Bulldogs. After losing the first game earlier this year, Saint Mary’s was hoping to close out the series with a win but ended up losing in three straight games.

The Belles played two hard fought games only to lose by scores of 30-26 and 30-28. In the final game they fell by a score of 30-24. Elise Rupright and Shelly Bender led the way on offense as both players collected 11 kills. On defense, Anne Cusack had 11 digs, while teammate Amanda David added 8 digs to keep the Belles close.

But Saint Mary’s could never quite figure the Bulldogs out and lost the match.

In the second game of the week, Saint Mary’s took on MIAA powerhouse Alma. The Scots have yet to lose this year and are one of the premier teams in Division III as they are ranked No. 20 with a record of 26-0. Saint Mary’s really never came close as Alma streaked to an easy three-game win. One of the few bright spots in the match was Michelle Turley, who registered a team-high with 11 kills. Cusack continued to shine on the defensive side with an impressive 12 digs.

In the final contest during the week, Saint Mary’s played their final home game of the year only to lose to Hope. In their first meeting, the Belles beat the Flying Dutch in five games, but the second time around wasn’t as easy for Saint Mary’s. They dropped the match in four games. After losing the first game 30-27, the Belles came back to steal the second game. But this wasn’t enough as Hope regrouped and won the next two in a row.

Michelle Gary, Rupright, and Turley all made large contributions on offense, but their play wasn’t enough to halt the Flying Dutch’s attack.

“Adrian, Alma and Hope are all very good teams that are at the top of the MIAA conference,” Turley said. “I felt that we fought hard in every match we played even though the outcome was not in our favor.”

Today, the Belles travel to Olivet to battle the Comets. Olivet is only 2-12 in the conference this season, and Saint Mary knocked off the Comets in their first meeting this year by sweeping them in three straight. Saint Mary’s cannot improve their standings in the league even with a win, but a victory can stop their current skid and give them some confidence as they prepare to finish the regular season off.

“We all realize that we are nearing the end of our volleyball season and naturally there is always that push to end on a positive note and go out strong,” said Turley.

The game begins at 7:00 p.m.