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SMC Volleyball: Belles face off in weekend games

Nick Boyle | Friday, August 31, 2012

Saint Mary’s young team will kick off its 2012 season in Chicago this weekend, when they travel to the North Park Tournament.

The Belles will play four games over the weekend. The tournament will begin with matches against IU-Northwest and Howard Payne on Friday night, then finish against North Park and Kenyon on Saturday.

“I know that we will be facing some solid competitive programs this weekend,” Belles coach Toni Kuschel said. “However, a lot of them have graduated some great players, so we will have to scout out some of the competition when we arrive on Friday.”

With a squad featuring a core group of returning players as well a strong group of incoming freshmen, Kuschel said she hopes her team will use the weekend to prepare for the upcoming conference season.

“I will be looking for our team to play to the best of our ability,” Kuschel said. “We start confrence play next Tuesday, and it will be so important to find our starting line up, as well as start the year off well.”

Though the tournament will not count towards the Belles’ conference standings, Kuschel said she still wants her team to take the games seriously.

“It is important that we go into the tournament focused and ready to improve each time we step out onto the court together,” Kuschel said. “We want to play well and figure out what we need to improve on.”

With 14 of their 15 players either freshmen or sophomores, the Belles will look to use the weekend to gain experience.

“We are such a young team so all of our matches this season will be great opportunities to improve as a team,” Kuschel said. “We need to be focused on what we need to do to improve ourselves.”

Contact Nick Boyle at nboyle1@nd.edu