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SMC VOLLEYBALL: Belles prepare for home clash with Hope

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, October 7, 2008

After dropping a tough loss to Alma on the road last Friday, the Saint Mary’s volleyball team will look to bounce back at home tonight at 7 p.m. against Hope college. The Belles are 12-6 overall, 5-4 in conference play and will need a win to stay above .500 in the MIAA.

Pulling off a win against Hope College, however, will be quite difficult for the Saint Mary’s squad. Hope is an impressive 18-3 on the year, is undefeated in conference play and the record is certainly not a fluke. Out of nine conference matches, Hope has dropped a mere three sets – that is an astonishing 90 percent set winning percentage. And while Hope is undefeated at home, they are equally impressive on the road, their only loss coming against Wittenberg way back in September. Hope captain senior Nora Slenk has 259 kills, with a solid .292 conversion percentage.

The Belles will have a tough time dealing with both the offensive and the defensive fronts of Hope College. While junior Lorna Slupczynski and senior Kaela Hellmann have been very impressive on the offensive side of the ball, contributing 222 and 192 kills respectively, they will have a difficult job of finding kills, as Hope is averaging 17.36 kills a game, limiting their opponents to a paltry 3.85 kills a game, their defensive efforts spearheaded by Senior Meghan Winer’s 346 digs.

Overall it will be a tough game for the St. Mary’s, as Hope College is stringing together a truly dominant performance in both conference and out of conference play. However do not count out the Belles at home, as aside from their first September 2nd home match, they are undefeated at St. Mary’s.