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SMC Volleyball: Belles take care of business

Samantha Leonard | Monday, October 9, 2006

Two big conference matches for Saint Mary’s led to two league wins this weekend against Olivet Friday and Alma Sunday.

Olivet provided little challenge until the final game. The Belles knocked off Olivet 3-0 (30-14, 30-17, 30-26) Friday evening.

Senior outside hitter Kristen Playko was on fire with 15 kills. She was aided by senior libero Anne Cusack, who contributed a match-high 29 digs.

“Well, we ended the week on a very positive note in terms of conference play,” Belles coach Julie-Schroeder-Biek said. “Beating Olivet and Alma in three-game sets each was something that we really needed at this point in the season.”

Freshman outside hitter Lorna Slupczynski added 11 digs to the win.

The Belles played superbly against Olivet, who is now 0-9 in the MIAA Conference and 0-18 overall.

The Belles improved their record to 13-6 overall and 6-4 in the MIAA conference.

Saint Mary’s 3, Alma 0

For the first time since the 1999 season, Saint Mary’s posted a win over Alma – and did so in a convincing fashion with a 30-21, 30-25, 30-15 victory Sunday afternoon.

The Belles snapped their 13-match losing streak against Alma and improved their record to 14-6 overall and 7-4 in the conference.

“We are pushing hard to accomplish our goal of being a host site for the MIAA tournament,” Schroeder-Biek said. “At this point, we have three teams – Hope, Adrian and us – all with seven wins behind Calvin, who is undefeated and with 10 wins. We are in the home stretch with some tough matches ahead of us. We just need to take things one game at a time and finish strong.”

Alma fell to 8-10 overall and 5-5 in the MIAA conference.

Slupczynski recorded a double-double with a match-high 17 kills to go with her 16-dig effort.

Playko played another strong game posting a double-double with a 16-kills and 18 digs performance in the win.

Cusack, the MIAA leader in digs, tallied 24 in the winning effort.

The Belles will take on another conference foe, Hope College, Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Saint Mary’s.

Saint Mary’s will honor seniors Carpenter, Cusak and Playko at the game.

Hope is second in the MIAA conference with a 7-1 MIAA record, and Saint Mary’s stands at fourth after the weekend’s action.