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SMC Volleyball: Belles sneak past Adrian in five sets

Katharine Mack | Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Belles’ season-long quest to establish themselves as competitors in the MIAA manifested itself in a close victory over Adrian Wednesday.

Saint Mary’s (5-19, 3-11 MIAA) defeated Adrian (9-17, 3-11) in a five-set battle 3-2 (16-25, 25-23, 20-25, 27-25, 15-12).

“We just fought really hard, the whole team had this enthusiasm and energy that had been missing many times in the past,” Belles coach Toni Kuschel said.

The Belles found themselves down early, but rallied to come back from a one-set deficit. Kuschel said her team got back to fundamentals in order to complete the comeback.

“Our hitting just really came around tonight so well,” said Kuschel. “We also had phenomenal team defense and team effort.”

Sophomore Allison Zandarski was a key contributor on offense with a match-high 17 kills, and sophomore Stephanie Bodien and junior Lindsey Stuss contributed 16 and 12 kills, respectively. Freshman Hailee Leitz had 50 assists and 12 digs while senior Meghann Rose added 21 digs. Five different players totaled double-digit digs for the match.

This result was quite different from what happened the last time the teams met. On Sept. 25, the Belles fell to the Bulldogs 3-1. Kuschel said Saint Mary’s handled crucial moments much more effectively this time around.

“Last time we were not able to get big points in tight situations,” said Kuschel. “Keeping down our unforced errors and our clicking offensively had a lot to do with the difference between tonight and a month ago.”

She added that the Belles hoped to carry this positive momentum into their last two regular season matches this weekend.

“Every time we step out on the court, it’s our time to get better as a team,” Kuschel said. “Win or lose, we’re always just looking to do our best and that’s what we did tonight.”

Saint Mary’s will take on opponent Trine at 7 p.m. Friday in its last home match of the season.