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SMC Volleyball: Belles defeat Albion to extend MIAA win streak

Conor Kelly | Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Belles faced conference rival Albion at home Wednesday and came away with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-17, 27-25) victory against the Britons. Saint Mary’s (6-7, 4-4 MIAA) took its third straight MIAA match and secured its fourth-place spot in the conference with the win.

“This was a must-win match for us,” Belles coach Toni Kuschel said. “One of our goals from the beginning of the season has been to finish top-four in conference, and we had to have this match tonight.”

Junior Allison Zandarski had 11 kills and .476 hitting percentage in the match. First year Kati Schneider and junior Stephanie Bodien chipped in with eight and nine kills, respectively. The match, however, was won on the other side of the court as the Belles collected 61 digs as a team and held Albion to a .142 hitting percentage. Senior Meghann Rose led the squad with 14 digs.

“Our defense played excellently today,” Kuschel said. “Rose leading the team in digs was huge, and Annie Bodien really stepped up.”

As she has in every match this season, junior Danie Brink led the Belles in assists with 38. The rest of the team combined for three.

“We passed very well today, and that’s what led to our good numbers in the kills department,” Kuschel said. “Allison and Danie are really connecting right now.”

The win was the third in a row for the Belles and completes their first half of the MIAA schedule.

“We want to take care of business and control our own destiny,” Kuschel said. “We’re happy to get the wins we did the first time through, but we want to add to those this time around.”

Kuschel said seeing teams for the second time will be beneficial for the Belles as many teams, including Saint Mary’s, have youth-laden rosters.

“We’ve got a week now to get ready for Kalamazoo,” Kuschel said. “So we’ll be watching tape and making adjustments because so much can change from the first time you see a team to the next.”

The Belles next play Oct. 7 at home against Kalamazoo.