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SMC Volleyball: Eighth-seeded Belles to play No. 1 Hope in tournament

Katharine Mack | Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Saint Mary’s will be up against the odds tonight when it takes on Hope in the MIAA tournament.

The Belles (5-20) will enter the nine-team tournament as the No. 8 seed and will look for a major upset against top-seeded Hope (23-4), which ranks 8th nationally, in their opening match of the double round-robin tournament.

The Belles know exactly what they’re up against with the Flying Dutch, whom they have faced twice this season. Both matches resulted in a 3-0 Saint Mary’s losses.

“We were just [at Hope] on Saturday so our team knows what to expect,” Belles head coach Toni Kuschel said.

Saint Mary’s must be more consistent with hitting, as the last two matchups between the teams resulted in a Belles attack percentage of .078 on Oct. 5 and a .033 attack percentage on Saturday.

“We will need to play better. We need to be consistent with the ball and play in system,” Kuschel said.

The Belles must also try to contain the potent Hope offense. The Flying Dutch posted a .449 attack percentage in their Oct. 5 match and increased their attack percentage to .453 on Saturday.

“We will need to serve tough against a great offense. We will also need to be more focused on service receiving and defense,” said Kuschel.

The match begins at 7 p.m. at Hope.