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SMC VOLLEYBALL: Belles play with confidence, split two conference matches

Ryan Kiefer | Monday, October 10, 2005

A 1-1 record this weekend at the Olivet triangular looked like two wins to Saint Mary’s coach Julie Schroeder-Biek.

The Belles lost a five game classic to Albion 30-22, 28-30, 30-26, 19-30, 15-13 before rebounding to defeat Olivet in four games, 31-29, 30-24, 29-31, 30-12.

Schroeder-Biek thought her team displayed a lot of heart in both games, showing vast improvement from last Wednesday’s loss at the hands of Adrian.

“We competed very well out there today,” Schroeder-Biek said. “Unlike last week, we jumped out to a lead and we kept it, especially in the fourth games of those matches. We didn’t dig holes for ourselves.”

Kristen Playko led the offense for the Belles in the Albion match with 19 kills, while setter Amanda David had a match-high 47 assists.

Despite the loss, Schroeder-Biek thought her team left the match feeling confident.

“We could have won that match,” she said. “It was very close. We were in control in that fourth game, and it was close into the fifth. We had a couple controversial calls in there, as well, but they didn’t decide the match. Overall, we played very well, and we know we can win that match.”

The loss was just the second for the Belles in six five-game matches this season.

The Olivet match marked the beginning of the second half of the conference season for the Belles. Schroeder-Biek has emphasized the importance of the second half, especially her team’s need to make adjustments to teams they have already faced. The Belles lost to Olivet at home three-games-to-two earlier this season, but a determined effort by Saint Mary’s, especially in the fourth game, made sure this match’s outcome would not mirror the first.

Schroeder-Biek thought her team’s resilience showed in the Belles’ second match of the day.

“We didn’t play our best [against Olivet], but the girls saw that they could pull it together and get back on track when things are not going well,” she said.

The Belles showed their ability to regroup in the fourth game. The 30-12 score was the largest margin of victory by the Belles in any conference game this season.

Michelle Turley led the Belles against Olivet with 18 kills. David recorded another solid performance with 46 assists. She also hit at a 50 percent clip and recorded nine kills.

The Belles record stands at 9-12, 3-6 in the MIAA. Saint Mary’s is in sixth place in the conference standings.

The team returns to the court Tuesday for its final home match of the season against Adrian. The Bulldogs soundly defeated the Belles in three games last week.

Despite the result, Schroeder-Biek feels good about her team’s chances Tuesday and for the remainder of the season.

“They played nine games Saturday and were tired because they worked so hard,” she said. “That’s what we have to do in the second half. We need to work harder than we did the first half of the season.”