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SMC VOLLEYBALL: Belles to host match against Manchester

Ryan Kiefer | Thursday, September 22, 2005

Saint Mary’s will look to even its record tonight when it steps out of conference to face the Manchester College Spartans (2-9).

The non-conference contest comes in the middle of a busy week for the Belles. Tonight’s match will be the second of four critical home games this week.

The Belles (6-7, 1-2 MIAA) defeated Kalamazoo College Tuesday in a five-game classic. The win was the second in a row for the Belles. Both matches went five games.

Belles Coach Julie-Schroeder Biek said solid play from her experienced players propelled the Belles to Tuesday’s win.

“Our upperclassmen showed great leadership,” she said following the match. “They set a standard for our whole team to follow.”

Senior Shelly Bender anchored the Belles defense in the middle, scoring a crucial block-kill late in the fifth game.

Junior outside attacker Kristin Playko led the attack for the Belles. She scored a kill for the 14th point in the fifth game after getting blocked twice earlier in the point. Her persistence showed a fire and determination that had been absent from the Belles in previous losses.

The Belles could be heard chanting “Our game!” during a timeout in the fifth game. And Schroeder-Biek recognized her team’s toughness.

“We played to win,” she said. “We stayed aggressive. That was very important for us.”

The Belles will face Calvin and Alma, the MIAA’s top two teams from last season, on Saturday