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Injuries test Belles’ depth

Justin Schuver | Wednesday, September 3, 2003

Saint Mary’s will have to deal with more than just a boring ride on the road when they open their MIAA season at Albion College today.

According to coach Julie Schroeder-Biek, three of the Belles’ key players might miss the Albion game.

Libero Anne Cusack has strep throat and will more than likely miss the game. Outside attacker Michelle Turley has a foot injury and will probably also miss the contest.

Outside attacker Alison Shevik sustained an ankle injury and will probably miss the match, but her coach said there is a slight possibility she may still play Wednesday.

Regardless of her starting roster, Schroeder-Biek feels her team has the capability to deal with the adversity.

“We’ve got good depth and I feel that people will step up,” she said.

Albion (3-1, 0-0 MIAA) is coming off a weekend tournament in which they placed third with wins over Ohio schools Heidelburg and Bluffton. The Britons also lost in five games to Franklin, Ind.

The Britons are led by Eliza Lee, who dished out 905 assists in her first year with Albion. She was also the team leader in service aces (67) and second in digs (230) in the 2002 season.

Krystie Weeks had an equally impressive season last year and is expected to help pace the Britons offensively this season. Weeks led last season’s team with 243 kills and ranked second on the team with 56 blocks.

Saint Mary’s (0-1, 0-0 MIAA) has previously had several competitive matches with Albion, and Schroeder-Biek doesn’t see any reason for that to change this year.

“They are very comparable to us as a team,” she said. “We’re each at about the same stage of growth.”

Schroeder-Biek believes that opening conference play on the road will be a good experience for her young team.

“I do like traveling early in the season, because it’s a good bonding experience for the girls,” she said. “We love playing at home with our crowds, but there’s also a good group of parents that follows us when we’re on the road.”