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SMC Volleyball: Belles sweep Olivet

Ken Fowler | Friday, September 8, 2006

It was easy as one, two, three for Saint Mary’s in its home opener Thursday night.

Behind the 18 kills of senior Kristen Playko, Saint Mary’s beat MIAA foe Olivet in straight sets at the Angela Athletic Center to improve to 5-1 on the season. Playko also added 12 digs on defense for the Belles.

Freshman outside hitter Lorna Slupczynski and sophomore middle block Cathy Kurczak added eight kills each, and senior Ann Carpenter had seven.

The defensive star of the night was Belles senior Anne Cusack, who finished with 26 digs in the victory.

The win came two days after Saint Mary’s four-game, season-opening winning streak came to an end against Hope.

“A win always brings the team’s morale up,” Carpenter said. “We had a great turnout from students and staff – lots of positive support.”

Carpenter had just one error on 18 total attempts to go along with her seven kills.

Slupczynski led the team in efficiency, converting on eight of her 14 attempts while committing just two errors.

Outside hitter Kim Travis led Olivet with nine kills and two errors on 30 attempts for a .233 attack percentage.

But it wasn’t nearly enough for the Comets, who fell 30-19, 30-28 and 30-25.

“The intensity was high throughout the entire match, which lead to a solid three-out-of-five game win,” Carpenter said.

Next up for Saint Mary’s is the Baldwin-Wallace Tournament in Berea, Ohio. Saint Mary’s plays today at 3 p.m. against Lake Erie and then at 5 p.m. against Case Western Reserve. The Belles finish round-robin play Saturday at noon against John Carroll, with a fourth game later in the day to be determined based on how the team fares.

Carpenter said the win Thursday was crucial for the Belles after the loss to Hope.

“[The win] definitely helps boost [the] team’s confidence before a big tournament,” she said.


u It was Playko’s sixth straight game with 10 or more kills to start the season. She had 15 in the team’s season-opening win against Albion, 17 against Tri-State, 14 against Goshen, 12 versus Huntington and 13 in the loss to Hope.