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SMC Volleyball: Belles visit Alma for MIAA match

Chris Michalski | Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Belles take their two-game winning streak on the road to face off against MIAA opponent Alma today in Alma, Mich.

The Belles (9-9, 5-5 MIAA) picked up two conference wins this weekend against Trine and Adrian to bring their record to .500 for the first time all season.

With the playoffs fast approaching, it seems as though the Belles are beginning to come together as a team.

“We have some things that we still need to work on,” coach Toni Kuschel said. “But overall what is most important is that we play well together out on the court.”

Nonetheless, the Belles have made great strides this season and have already beaten two teams that they failed to beat in the previous meeting.

“We have found a rotation that is working really well for us,” Kuschel said. “Our team is giving 100 percent every day at practice to get us where we want to be in the conference.”

There is still work to be done to get a high seed in the postseason tournament, however, as the Belles still sit in the middle of the pack in the MIAA standings. Fortunately, they will get a chance to make up ground as the Scots hold a one-game lead on them.

With the focus fully on Alma, the Belles will try to duplicate their performance in their previous meeting when they defeated the Scots 3-0 on Sept. 12. While the final result points to a one-sided match, Saint Mary’s needed a number of clutch rallies in tightly contested games to pull out the win.

In the match, senior Lorna Slupczynski led all players with 21 kills. Also, the Belles held the Scots’ current team-leader in kills to just four.

Saint Mary’s will need a similar performance on both ends of the court to beat Alma on the road where they have struggled to a 1-3 record in conference this season.

Looking ahead on the schedule, the Belles will get a six-day break before they attempt to avenge a 3-2 loss earlier in the year against No. 7 Hope College on Oct. 20.