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Belles looking for win to raise team morale

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Never underestimate your opponent.

The Belles must keep this in the back of their heads today as they prepare to take on Tri-State University. The Thunder is still in search of its first MIAA win of the year having now gone 10 straight games without a victory. Meanwhile, the Belles cannot afford to drop another conference match if they hope to improve their current standing in the league.

Saint Mary’s comes into the contest with a record of 4-7 in conference play and 4-10 overall. The Belles thumped Tri-State earlier this year when they dominated the Thunder in the Saint Mary’s Triangular. The victory marked their first win of the season after losing five straight to begin the 2004 campaign.

In the contest, the Belles controlled the tempo throughout and swept the Thunder in three straight games. However, the team realizes that they must come into this game prepared and ready for anything.

“We expect to see the same team as in our previous meeting,” middle hitter Elise Rupright said. “We expect to win and nothing else, but we cannot come into the game and lie down.”

In their first meeting with the Thunder, Saint Mary’s was led by the play of Shelly Bender and Elise Rupright on the offensive side of the ball. Bender put on a show against Tri-State University as she collected 18 kills in the match. Elizabeth Stohl and Anne Cusack supplied most of the damage on defense for Saint Mary’s and helped the team cruise to an easy victory.

The Belles are coming off of two straight losses against the number two and three teams in the MIAA. Before their recent skid, Saint Mary’s was on a three-game winning streak and looking like a team ready to make a strong run as they sat as high as fifth place in the conference.

But now Saint Mary’s is a team that is in desperate need of another win. The Belles must take full advantage of this game to prevent slipping any farther back in the MIAA. The Belles are currently in seventh place and sit two games behind Adrian and Albion for the sixth spot.