SMC Volleyball: Rematch next test with MIAA tourney ahead
Andrew Owens | Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The Belles travel to conference rival Adrian tonight in search of their third MIAA victory as next week’s conference tournament quickly approaches.
Saint Mary’s (4-18, 2-11 MIAA) dropped a 3-1 (22-25, 25-17, 26-24, 25-19) decision to Adrian (9-15, 3-10 MIAA) on Sept. 25, but Belles coach Toni Kuschel said she was optimistic that Saint Mary’s can win the match this time around.
“We need to play our best and have some fun out on the court together,” Kuschel said. “We need to come out with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.”
In their last match against Adrian, the Belles jumped ahead early with a win in the first set. The Bulldogs evened the match at one win apiece in the second and never looked back, taking the remaining two sets.
This time around, the teams meet in a crucial match that falls only one week before the MIAA tournament. The Belles currently find themselves in eighth place, but a win would tie them with Adrian and put them only one game behind Trine. Kuschel emphasized how important it is that the Belles continue to get better and prepare for the conference tournament.
“We are taking it one match at a time,” she said. “We have three big matches this week, which means we have three opportunities to get better. Our goal all season has been to get better every time we step out on the floor as a team. I really believe we have had a lot of success with that.”
Kuschel added that the underclassmen on the squad would be very important during the next week and as the program moves forward.
“We have had a lot of freshman step up and play big roles on this year’s team and do a good job,” she said. “Our team has improved in a lot of ways since the beginning of the season. We feel that our freshman have really had some great accomplishments.”
One area where the rookie players have excelled this season is in their ability to easily step up to the level of play on the collegiate level.
“They have had to adapt very quickly to the college game,” Kuschel said. “A lot of players on the team have had to adapt to new roles that they have never had to play before, and it is just making us that much stronger for our future.”
The Belles take on Adrian tonight at 7 p.m. in Adrian, Mich.