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SMC Volleyball: Calvin defeats Belles in three sets

Andrew Owens | Thursday, September 16, 2010

Saint Mary’s gave MIAA rival Calvin a run for their money, but the Knights ultimately proved to be too much for the Belles.

The No. 4 Knights won 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-18) en route to another conference win and continue to be a thorn in the Belles’ side, having beaten Saint Mary’s three times last season as well. The loss drops Saint Mary’s to 2-6 (1-2 MIAA).

While Calvin swept the match, Saint Mary’s fought to hold strong against the experienced Knight’s offense. While it may not have resulted in a victory, the Belles have much to take from the loss.

After an impressive 3-0 win over Albion to start the season, Wednesday’s loss is the Belles’ second consecutive conference defeat. Despite losing all three sets, the Belles appeared kept up a high level of competition in each one. In the third set, Saint Mary’s led 14-9, forcing the Knights to call a timeout and regroup. Calvin answered by winning 16 of the next 20 points to claim the match.

Saint Mary’s managed to pick up seven blocks on the night to Calvin’s four.

Sophomore Autumn Nelson led the Belles’ attack with seven kills. Belles sophomore Stephanie Bodien added in five and freshman teammate Christi Wyble had four.

Saint Mary’s freshman Hailee Leitz notched a team-high 18 assists on the night. Wyble added two solo blocks for the Belles, as well as two block assists.

Junior Danie Brink added six assists and one dig on the night.

The Belles return to the court this weekend when they travel to Manchester College Invitational on Saturday and Sunday. Their opponents include Anderson, Purdue North Central, Principia and Grace. The tournament will mark the end of non-conference play for the Belles before picking up MIAA play again next week when they host Kalamazoo.