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SMC Volleyball: Cusack leads SMC in MIAA victory

Joe Meixell | Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Entering Tuesday’s match, Saint Mary’s was 5-0 against Tri-State since the Thunder joined the MIAA in 2004. After the match, the Belles had improved on that record with a 3-1 win.

The Belles topped the Thunder 30-26 in game one. But game two proved to be tougher for Saint Mary’s, as Tri-State took the game by the same score. Saint Mary’s rebounded in game three, winning 30-18, and was strong enough to edge Tri-State 30-28 in game four to take the match.

The Belles improved their record 4-2 in the MIAA conference (11-3 overall). Tri-State fell to 3-4 in the conference (6-11 overall).

Senior libero Anne Cusack led the team with 28 digs, while fellow senior outside hitter Kristen Playko had 26 digs and a match- high 19 kills.

“I like our ability to come back and drive to win,” Belles coach Julie Schroeder-Biek said. “What I didn’t like was putting ourselves in that position to have to come back. We need to improve on our desire to compete from start to finish.”

Tuesday marked the conclusion of the first half of the Belles’ season and Schroeder-Biek is pleased with what she has seen thus far.

“We have fantastic chemistry,” she said. “That is a huge strength and it helps to carry us through when we are struggling with our game. We also have a lot of talent on this squad with experience in key places.

“Our weaknesses right now deal more with the mental part of our game than the physical part, [but] the bright spot there though is that we can change that.”

Setter Amanda David agreed with her coach’s opinion on team chemistry.

“It just feels so good to know that everyone on the court is working together towards the same goal,” David said. “Having this chemistry helps us to be successful because it gives us confidence in each other during high pressure moments in games.”

The Belles must now look ahead to back-to-back games Thursday and Friday against Bethel and Albion.

“Playing games back to back can be mentally and physically challenging, but if we stay focused, and work together as a team we can definitely get the job done,” David said.