The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Belles win in unexpected fashion over Manchester

Justin Schuver | Wednesday, October 1, 2003

The Saint Mary’s volleyball team got their second straight win Tuesday night, but the Belles did not defeat Manchester the way their coach expected.

“Our last two opponents haven’t been that good, and we’ve really been playing down to their level,” coach Julie Schroeder-Biek said.

Saint Mary’s took care of non-conference opponent Manchester in four sets at home by a score of 30-21, 30-25, 19-30, 30-22.

Outside hitters Kristen Playko and Ann Carpenter continued their impressive freshman seasons with 16 and 15 kills, respectively. Playko also led the team in digs with 30 and in service aces with three.

Defensive specialist Alison Shevik was not far behind with 29 digs, and both libero Ann Cusack and defensive specialist Michelle Gary pitched in 17 digs.

Middle hitter Elise Rupright led the team with five blocks.

The Belles got off to a quick start in the first game, going up 10-2 initially, but a timeout by Manchester helped to cut that lead to only two points.

“We started out just how we needed to be – really dominant,” Schroeder-Biek said. “We didn’t continue with the fight though, and it was a real frustrating match.”

Manchester came into the match with a 5-12 record and – for the third straight year – with a new coach. For this reason, Schroeder-Biek thought her team should have swept their opponent in three sets like they did last year.

“It’s a real transition for that team, to have their third different coach in three years,” she said. “To their credit, they kept the ball alive and really kept us on our toes.

We looked tired mentally,” she said.

Saint Mary’s remains at home Thursday to face non-conference opponent Bethel.

“Bethel is going to be a strong match,” Schroeder-Biek said. “We’re really going to have to rise to our opponent.”