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SMC Volleyball: Belles look for first league win

By Nick Boyle | Friday, September 7, 2012

Saint Mary’s looks to bounce back from its first loss of the season when the team travels to Albion on Saturday for a conference match.

This will be the second conference match of the season for Saint Marys (4-1, 0-1 MIAA) following a strong start to the season.

“Saturday will be a great chance for us to get our first conference win, but we will have to perform to the best of our ability to do so,” Belles coach Toni Kuschel said.

The Belles are coming off a straight-set loss to conference-foe Trine in what was a match marred by a plethora of unforced-erorrs from Kuschel’s squad.

“Tuesday’s loss to Trine was a good indicator on what we need to work on,” Kuschel said. “The team knows we did not play our best and we let some uncontrollables affect our play.”

To score their first conference win of the season, the Belles will have to overcome their nearby rival Albion (0-5, 0-1). The Scotts will be looking for their first win following a tough start to the season.

“Albion has a great senior outside hitter, Lauren DeLuyck, who is back again this year,” Kuschel said. “She will be one to watch out for. They are a younger team like us, with a new coach, so we will have to focus on what we can control on our side of the net.”

If Saint Mary’s is going to compete on Saturday, it will need its leaders to bring their best effort, Kuschel said.

“We will need our hitters and setters to really step up this weekend,” Kuschel said. “[Sophomore middle hitter] Melanie Kuczek and [sophomore middle hitter] Taylor Etzell in the middle can make a big impact when they are on. We will be looking to them along with [sophomore defensive specialist] Meredith Mersits and [sophomore defensive specialist] Samantha Grady to lead our defense.”

Although the Belles are coming off a loss, Kuschel said expects her team to come out strong.

“I will be looking for a dominating team performance,” Kuschel said. “We need a solid mental performance and a disiplined defense.”

Saint Mary’s will travel to Albion, Mich., to square off against the Scotts on Saturday at 11 a.m.


Contact Nick Boyle at nboyle1@nd.edu