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SMC Volleyball: Belles fall to Thunder in MIAA road match

Katharine Mack | Thursday, September 30, 2010

Though the Belles started off strong, their momentum fade in the second and third sets helped MIAA Conference rival Trine overthrow Saint Mary’s Wednesday at Trine, 3-0 (27-25, 25-17, 25-16).

“We worked hard tonight, we just were not able to finish,” Belles coach Toni Kuschel said.

Saint Mary (3-12) battled the Thunder during the first set with 10 ties and four lead changes. It looked like the first set was in the bag for Trine, but when the score came to 21-15, the Belles fought to tie the score, 22-22. Senior Ellen Huelsmann was at the helm during this five point run with effective serving.

In the end, Trine (6-12) pulled away from the Belles winning the first set, which proved to set the tone for the rest of the match.

The remaining two sets of the match were the Thunders to grab as the Belles were outplayed in their attack game. Saint Mary’s attack percentage for the second set was .121 to Trine’s .235. The final set yielded to even greater disparity as the Belles dropped to a .088 attack percentage to the Thunder’s .294.

Despite Saint Mary’s lack of offensive game, Freshman Hailee Leitz’s performance against the thunder was a positive the Belles took away from the match. She led her team with a .656 assist percentage and 21 assists for the game.

“Our hitters found a lot more confidence in freshman setter Hailee Leitz tonight and will be looking to build on that tomorrow at practice,” Kuschel said. “She does a great job distributing the ball tonight. It was the best I have seen her play so far this year.”

Other contributors included Sophomore Stephanie Bodien who led the team with eight kills and Senior Meghann Rose with a match-high 12 digs.

“We will be looking for our vocal leadership to continue to improve as well as our hitting percentage,” Kuschel said.