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Belles look to utilize freshman

Kate Seryak | Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Belles take on the Pilots of Bethel College today in their first non-conference match since March.

Younger members of the Belles’ team expect to compete tomorrow, some in their very first regular season match of their careers.

“We’re changing our lineup to give other people a chance to play and give some others a rest. We’re just hoping to have a fun match tomorrow, its not going to be as intense as our other matches,” captain Kristen Palombo said. They will be playing in a match that actually counts and not just an exhibition.”

However, the Belles hit a rough patch earlier this month, losing MIAA conference matches to Kalamazoo, Adrian and Calvin.

“These last couple losses have hopefully taught us that we’re making too many mistakes and hopefully well learn from these mistakes,” Palombo said. “We know we need to work on volleys, coming in to the net and attacking more. Hopefully we’ll have more confidence for the next couple matches.”

The Kalamazoo and Adrian losses were difficult because they were both 9-0 matches.

“We’re at the point right now where we’ve lost so many, it’s hard to think of winning. It’s hard to want it, hard to step up and win,” Palombo said. “It’s easy to get down on yourself when you’re not on a winning streak, when you’re not playing as well as you can play.”

Despite their recent misfortunes, the Belles are still trying to be positive, recognizing that they can learn from these losses and keep improving.

“This match will be a good chance for people to work on the areas they need improvement in, areas where they know they need work,” Mikulyuk said.

The team also believes their problems stem from this year’s lack of experience.

“There are girls in top positions that haven’t played collegiate sports before,” Mikulyuk said. “This season has been about working to get them that experience and we’ve been working hard. Now, we hope to put in a good showing at the conference championship.”

Nevertheless, the Belles remain confident with two more conference matches to go in the regular season and the conference tournament fast approaching.