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Belles drop close match to Albion

Justin Schuver | Thursday, September 4, 2003

The Belles put themselves in a position to win, but just didn’t have enough to get it done this time.Saint Mary’s narrowly lost on the road to conference rival Albion in a five-game match Wednesday, 30-22, 25-30, 30-17, 22-30, 5-15.The Belles (0-2, 0-1 MIAA) came into the match with two players unable to play – Michelle Turley was out with a foot injury and Anne Cusack had strep throat.A third player, Alison Shevik, played only the back row as she tried to overcome a minor ankle injury. Coach Julie Schroeder-Biek was impressed with her team’s poise and determination to work through the adversity.”We had a lot of obstacles to overcome that night,” she said. “You name it – injuries, transportation problems … but I was very happy with how the girls played as a team.”Freshman outside hitter Kristen Playko had a phenomenal individual performance, collecting 25 kills, the most on either team. She led the Belles’ leader in digs with 17 and contributed three service aces.Middle hitter Elise Rupright led the team in blocks (four), and also added eight kills, three service aces and 14 digs. Libero Michelle Gary was second on the team with 15 digs, followed by Shevik with 14 and middle hitter Shelly Bender with 13 digs.Schroeder-Biek was pleased by what has been a theme so far for this year’s Belles – sharing the digs as a team – and was equally pleased with how the team achieved several goals for the game.”One of our goals against Albion was to raise our attack percentage,” she said. The Belles had an attack percentage of .128. “I can definitely tell looking at the numbers that we really improved in that department. It was a big improvement.”