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SMC Volleyball: Belles hope lightning strikes twice

Michael Bryan | Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Saint Mary’s hopes history will repeat itself Wednesday – with one minor modification.

When Kalamazoo traveled to the Angela Athletic Center last season, Saint Mary’s escaped with a nail-biting victory in five games. Tonight at 7, the team hopes for the same result, just without the drama.

“This match is very important – we need to focus and tighten up our own game and play our best,” Belles coach Julie Schroeder-Biek said. “We have very high goals we’re trying to accomplish – one match at a time.”

The match is the Belles first at home since Sept. 7.

“The team is looking forward to playing at home again,” Schroeder-Biek said.

The road swing consisted of five matches – four at the Maria French Memorial Tournament hosted by Baldwin-Wallace and one league matchup at Albion.

The Belles scored dominating 3-0 victory over Albion Sept. 13, a win that continued the team’s strong start and improved its record to 9-2. Saint Mary’s recorded a .270 hitting percentage in the contest while holding the host Britons to a negative hitting percentage of -.079.

Schroeder-Biek was impressed with the team’s performance. “We challenged ourselves by not lowering our style of play and never relaxed,” she said.

Senior Kristen Playko recorded her ninth double-double of the season with 10 kills and 17 digs, and libero Anne Cusack tallied 29 digs.

Freshman outsider hitter Lorna Slupczynski also added a 10-kill performance to the effort, the Belles second win in conference play.

Kalamazoo visits fresh off a 3-0 sweep of Olivet, the team’s third win in a row. The Hornets are 5-6 overall, 1-1 in MIAA play.

The young team has had an up-and- down year, but has a reputation for playing up to the level of tough opponents.