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SMC Volleyball: Saint Mary’s travels to Trine

By Nick Boyle | Thursday, October 4, 2012

Coming off a string of conference losses, Saint Mary’s hopes to right the ship when it takes on the visiting Trine squad Friday.

With a current .500 conference record, a win Friday would mean a big boost for the Belles (8-8, 4-4 MIAA) in the conference standings. Belles coach Toni Kuschel said she thinks her team is ready for the challenge.

“I expect us to play our very best,” Kuschel said. “We know we are capable of playing great volleyball and we are looking forward to proving that against Trine on Friday.”

Trine (14-7, 5-3) has gotten off to a hot start this season.. A win for Saint Mary’s would put them even with Trine in fourth place, which would buy the Belles a spot in the end of the season MIAA conference tournament.

“We know that [Trine is] a very tough team,” Kuschel said. “They have some great freshman and a great leadership in seniors [setter] Sarah Radkin and [middle hitter] Betsy Irwin, and junior [defensive specialist] Darcy Crabtree.”

To compete against its conference foe, Saint Mary’s will need to play some of the team’s best ball of the season, Kuschel said. They have been preparing for this final stretch by playing a competitive slate of matches.

“We have put in a lot of hard work the last two weeks while facing some of the top teams in the country,” Kuschel said. “We want all of that hard work to show up on Friday.”

Kuschel said she hopes her team can come out playing tough against Trine. With a team filled almost entirely with sophomores and freshmen, the Belles will look to lone senior setter Danie Brink for leadership. Brink currently sits in the top-three Belles setters of all time in numerous statistical categories.

“We need to play tough and not give up on points,” Kuschel said. “We will need to serve and pass well. When we are able to do those two things well we will give ourselves the opportunity to win.”

Kuschel said she thinks her team will come out excited for the rivalry match Friday.

“We are confident and excited to be playing a rival at home,” Kuschel said.

Saint Mary’s will welcome in-conference foe Trine at 7 p.m. on Friday.

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