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SMC Volleyball: Belles look for second MIAA win

Katie Heit | Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Belles will travel to Trine University in Angola, Ind., today to compete for their second conference win this season.

Saint Mary’s (2-6, 3-1) opened MIAA conference play with losses against Calvin, Kalamazoo and most recently Alma. A 3-0 win over Olivet gave them a conference win and experience for the Trine match.

“We’re a very young team,” Belles coach Toni Kuschel said.

“We’ve had a lot of great confidence builders even though those games didn’t turn out as we’d hoped.”

Kuschel said the Belles take every loss and use it as a learning experience to find the good in the game, no matter the result.

“We’ve had some amazing matchups,” Kuschel said. “Last week [against Alma], our team had 82 digs. We did awesome defensively, and it was just a really great stepping stone.”

Trine (7-6, 2-1) is strong offensively, Kuschel said, and promises a tough match for the Belles.

“Trine has a phenomenal middle hitter,” Kuschel said. “If we want to win the game, we’re going to have to shut her down.”

While the Belles have made vast improvements in their game, Kuschel said there are still a few areas they need to focus on to beat Trine.

“I’m looking for our front row to really block well,” Kuschel said. “We have to be more consistent. We have to come up with big plays and that’s going to take a lot of mental toughness.”

Kuschel said her team has worked hard at every practice.

“I’m looking for that to continue,” Kuschel said. “If that stays the same, I think we’re going to be beating these teams the second time around.”

The team will have to battle if they want to defeat Trine, Kuschel said.

“Everyone has contributed and put forth great effort in every match,” Kuschel said. “I’m looking for everyone to step up and take it to the next level.”

The Belles take on the Thunder today at Trine at 7 p.m.


Contact Katie Heit at kheit@nd.edu