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SMC Volleyball: Belles can’t conquer the Knights

Michael Bryan | Thursday, October 5, 2006

The Belles went into Calvin looking to play the role of spoiler Wednesday, but the MIAA-leading Knights squashed any hopes of an upset with a dominating 3-0 victory.

The win was Calvin’s seventh in a row and kept the team undefeated in conference play. Saint Mary’s dropped to 12-6 overall, 5-4 in MIAA play.

Calvin, 17-1 overall, is currently No. 19 in the Division III coaches’ poll.

Calvin began the match strong, winning the first game 30-16, and never let up. The final two games both ended in 30-19 Saint Mary’s defeats to finish the sweep. The result echoed the final score from the Sept. 22 match at Saint Mary’s, also a 3-0 victory for the Knights.

Belles coach Julie Schroeder-Biek was not disheartened by the results.

“We played a very good team and our players responded well to the competition,” Schroeder-Biek said. “The team learns from these matches and approaches the next competition with an even stronger will to win.”

The Knights strong performance was led by senior Kristen Kalb, who recorded a double-double with 15 kills and 10 digs.

Setter Katie Zondervan also turned in a strong performance with a match-high 38 assists.

Belles outside hitter Kristen Playko and freshman Lorna Slupczynski led the losing effort with 8 kills each.

Senior Anne Cusack posted a solid defensive effort, leading the match with 19 digs.

While disappointed by the loss, Schroeder-Biek said that Calvin’s success this season has positive effects on the conference.

“It’s always wonderful for the MIAA to have one of our own recognized for their success,” she said. “Their high level of play makes the entire conference stronger.”

Saint Mary’s will try to rebound from the loss in its next match Friday at Olivet.

The Comets are still looking for their first win of the season at 0-16, and the Belles will hope to avoid the upset.