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Belles lose opening match

Joe Meixell | Friday, September 3, 2004

The Saint Mary’s volleyball team faced a difficult challenge Thursday when they opened up their season against Alma.

The Scots have won the conference title the last three years in a row. A year ago, the team lost in four to Alma. Unfortunately, the Belles came out on the wrong end once again as they lost in straight sets.

Prior to the home opener, captain Elise Rupright talked about the importance of the contest.

“I believe the team is looking forward to beginning competition and ready to begin the season with a win,” said Rupright.

However, the Belles were unable to find their rhythm against the defending conference champions. In the first two games they lost 15-30, and fell in the third and final match 21-30.

The Belles allowed too many kills in their losses. The Scots compiled 25 kills in the first game, 13 in the second and 18 in the next two sets. The Belles were unable to overcome this deficit and finished the match with just 30 kills.

Michelle Turley and Shelly Bender provided Saint Mary’s with a few bright spots. Turley collected 12 digs, while Bender collected 23 total attacks. Rupright also played well by adding 15 attacks of her own.

Alma is probably one of the toughest opponents that the Belles will face this year. Now Saint Mary’s must regroup and prepare for their next game on the road against the University of Saint Francis at 2 p.m.

The Cougars are 2-3 on the season and didn’t face the Belles during the 2003 campaign.

On Monday, the Belles will attempt to win their first conference match, as they take on Albion in a second straight away game. Play begins at 7 p.m.