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St Mary’s falls in finals of tournament

Joe Meixell | Monday, September 11, 2006

St. Mary’s won three of four matches in the Maria French Memorial Tournament this weekend, losing the tournament final in four sets to host Baldwin-Wallace.

The loss was only the Belle’s second this season, and it ended their budding win streak. After notching its fourth win in a row and finishing undefeated in pool play, St. Mary’s fell to a strong Yellow Jackets team. The 3-1 (30-27, 16-30, 30-19, 30-28) victory improved Baldwin-Wallace’s record to 7-1 on the season and dropped St. Mary’s to 8-2. Belles’ outsider hitter Kristen Playko and setter Amanda David were named to the all-tournament team.

Coach Julie Schroeder-Biek was impressed with the team’s overall performance.

“We played very strong throughout the tournament, but were definitely challenged the most by Baldwin-Wallace,” Schroeder-Biek said. “In the final match it was very exciting because we were forced the work much harder for our points. I was very proud of how our players responded and rose to the competition.”

Sophomore Maria DePeters led Baldwin-Wallace with 13 kills, and Yellow Jackets Kelsey Hills, Angie Camp, and Meggie Marten were also named to the All-Tournament team.

Saint Mary’s began the tournament Friday with two outstanding performances in the first two games of pool play. In the first match of the tournament the Belles faced Lake Erie and breezed to a 3-0 (30-16, 30-8, 30-10) victory. St. Mary’s then faced Case Western Reserve, and again rolled to a 3-0 (30-22, 30-11, 30-23) win. Laura Slupczynski led the Belles with 25 kills in the first two matches, while senior Kristen Playko added 16 kills of her own. Ann Carpenter and Cathy Kurczak notched 14 kills each.

The team concluded pool play Saturday with a 3-0 (30-19, 30-23, 30-20) sweep of John Carroll. John Carroll lost to Heidelberg in the third place match to finish fourth.

“The competition steadily improved as the tournament moved on,” Schroeder-Biek said. “We dominated all the teams in group play.”

St. Mary’s will next travel to Albion College (1-5) for an MIAA match at 7 p.m. The Belles are currently 1-1 in MIAA play.