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SMC Volleyball: Belles fall to Hope in tournament

Andrew Owens | Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Belles’ season ended Tuesday night as they were eliminated in the first round of the MIAA Championship tournament against top-seeded Hope College. Saint Mary’s (5-21, 3-14 MIAA) went into the match ranked eighth in the nine-team conference after a season where its victories were few and far-between. The Flying Dutch (24-4, 16-1 MIAA) are currently No. 6 in the Division III national rankings and were the regular season MIAA champions alongside Calvin.

Saint Mary’s dropped the match 3-0 (25-15, 25-19, 25-12) for the third time against Hope this season. The match was never contested too heavily, as Hope commanded each set from the start, leaving no doubt as to which team had had a better season.

Of the three matches the two teams have played this season, Tuesday’s was the closest in terms of the final score, as the Belles had double-digit points in each set, a feat they had not reached in each set faced against the Flying Dutch this season.

The second set was the strongest for Saint Mary’s, with a .243 hitting percentage off of 13 kills and only four errors on 37 swings. Although the Belles fell short in the set, it was the closest they have come to winning a set against the Flying Dutch this season.

Hope is heavily favored to win the tournament, which will conclude on Nov. 6.

Sophomore outside hitter Stephanie Bodien led the Belles once again this season with a team-high eight kills that were matched by eight digs. Junior outside hitter Lindsey Stuss added seven kills and three assists to the Belles effort while freshman setter Hailee Leitz notched a team-high 18 assists, 8 digs and two kills. Junior Meghann Rose brought in a team-high 13 digs and an assist.

In her final match at Saint Mary’s, senior Ellen Hueslmann picked up nine digs and three kills.

Tuesday’s match was the final contest of the Belles’ season.