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SMC Volleyball: Team looks to break losing streak in pair

Andrew Owens | Friday, October 8, 2010

In every level of sports, teams face adversity over the course of a long season. What separates the good teams from the bad teams is the ability to overcome the difficult parts of the season and be able to play well down the stretch, something that Saint Mary’s is trying to accomplish this weekend.

The Belles (3-13, 1-7 MIAA) will try to snap a seven-game losing streak this weekend when they face Beloit (9-9) and Albion (4-15, 0-8).

Saint Mary’s defeated Albion 3-0 in its conference opener four weeks ago, but since then, the Belles have dropped seven consecutive conference matches to fall to eighth in the standings.

After a rough start, Belles head coach Toni Kuschel expects the team to begin playing better.

“They key for us is to get better each time we step out onto the court together,” Kuschel said.

The Belles have an advantage in the match against the Britons that they do not have when they play Beloit, as they have already competed against Albion this season.

Saint Mary’s has had a tough time getting their offense going during their losing streak. They have been practicing to fix those problems this week, however, and Kuschel expects it to pay off on Saturday.

“We have emphasized running a more consistent offense,” Kuschel said.

The MIAA Tournament is less than four weeks away, so it is crucial in each match that the Belles continue to improve their game and win some matches in order to improve their seeding for the tournament.

As the team comes down the stretch, their focus will shift so that they are ready for postseason play.

“Our goal is to play at the highest level we are capable of,” Kuschel said. “We have seen everyone in our conference now and we need to improve in all areas if we hope to have a better record the second time around.”

Saint Mary’s faces Albion at 11 a.m. Saturday and will immediately follow with the match against Beloit at 1 p.m.