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SMC Volleyball: Belles drop final two matches before tourney

Andrew Owens | Monday, November 1, 2010

Just days before the MIAA Tournament, Saint Mary’s dropped its final two matches of the regular season. The Belles (5-20, 3-13 MIAA) fell to eighth in the MIAA standings after losing to conference foes Trine and Hope over the weekend.

Saint Mary’s lost its home finale Friday night. They celebrated Senior Night and honored Ellen Hueslmann. Trine won 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-21) in a hard fought match. The Belles and Thunder were tied 25 times and went through 14 lead changes.

While neither team was able to gain too much momentum or separate from their opponent, the Thunder pushed through at the end of each set and pick up the win.

Sophomore Stephanie Bodien had 13 kills and eight digs in a losing effort for the Belles. Hailee Leitz led the way with 27 assists. Huelsmann performed well for the Belles, with four kills, seven digs, two assists, two block assists and a service ace.

On Saturday afternoon, the Belles lost 3-0 (25-13, 25-6, 25-14) to Hope in the regular season finale. They will return to Holland, Michigan on Tuesday in the first round of the MIAA Tournament.

Bodien led the way again with nine assists. Leitz picked up 17 assists to once again pace the Belles.

Although the Belles have struggled this season, they are optimistic that they can put together a strong performance in the conference tournament. They have showed signs of improvement with their young squad throughout the season and have endured some difficult losses.

With these late season losses and their final ranking of eighth in the conference, the Belles will face top-ranked Hope, a team beat them twice this season, in Tuesday’s first round of the MIAA Tournament.