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SMC Volleyball: Saint Mary’s improves on 2010 season

Laura Coletti | Wednesday, May 16, 2012

For Saint Mary’s, numbers don’t tell the whole story of its 2011 campaign.

Balanced contributions from veterans and a strong freshman class helped the Belles (8-17, 6-10 MIAA) stay competitive in the MIAA. Freshman outside hitter Kati Schneider, junior outside hitter Stephanie Bodien and junior middle hitter Allison Zandarski each finished the season averaging more than two kills per set. Defensively, the team’s lone senior, libero Meghann Rose, led the way with more than four digs per set.

Rose, who captained the team with Brink, was an integral part of the Belles’ achievements in 2011.

“Meg Rose was the only senior we had this year,” Belles coach Toni Kuschel said. “She made the all-conference team and was very vital to this year’s success. She leaves very big shoes to fill as a four-year starting libero.”

The Belles faced some tough competition in the fall, and started their home campaign against conference foe and No. 1-ranked Calvin, the defending national champions. Although Saint Mary’s was swept 3-0 in that game, its gritty play proved it was going to be a tough competitor against any team it faced.

“We always feel that everyone in our conference is so strong,” Kuschel said. “If we want to continue to climb in the conference standings, it’s going to take a lot of hard work and commitment from our team this summer.”

The Belles made a significant impact on the MIAA conference this past fall, as they improved from 2010 to 2011 in several categories. They increased their total kills, attack percentage, kills per set, assists, aces and digs.

Contact Laura Coletti at lcoletti@nd.edu