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SMC Volleyball: Belles win three straight sets to defeat Olivet

Mike Ginocchio | Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Belles continued to roll with another come-from-behind victory, this time over Olivet last night in a four-set match (24-26, 27-25, 26-20, 31-29).
The victory over the Comets (2-7, 1-3 MIAA) gives the Belles (4-4, 3-1 MIAA) a three-game winning streak, their longest of the season. The win also moves the Belles into fourth place in the conference, behind Kalamazoo, Hope and Calvin.
Head coach Toni Elyea said she was proud of her team’s ruggedness and determination in once again pulling out the win.
“I’m very happy with the team’s come-from-behind win,” Elyea said. “It was a great team effort.”
Similar to their match earlier in the week against Alma, the Belles found themselves in a hole early, dropping the first set 26-24 but the Belles took the next three sets.
Elyea said strong defense once again played a key role in securing the Belles’ victory, particularly the play of junior libero Meredith Mersits and sophomore outside hitter Katie Hecklinski.
“Our defense made the adjustments to get key digs this evening,” Elyea said. “Meredith and Katie did a great job and our service receive was fantastic.”
The Belles also received significant help from junior outside hitter Kati Schneider and freshman setter Clare McMillan. Schneider recorded 31 kills over the course of the match, while McMillan chipped in with 57 assists.
Elyea said she was impressed with the record-setting performances of McMillan and Schneider, and was also quick to point out the steady contributions of junior middle hitter Melanie Kuczek as well.
“I’m very proud of what Kati and Clare and what they accomplished tonight,” Elyea said. “Kati tied the conference record for most kills in a four-set match and Clare broke the record for most assists in a four-set match. Melanie also had a great night at the net hitting .457. It was a great team effort.”
The Belles will resume play with a doubleheader against Lakeland and Wheaton at the Wheaton Quad in Wheaton, Ill. The Belles will begin play at 11 a.m.

Contact Mike Ginocchio at mginocch@nd.edu