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Belles drop below .500 with loss

Samantha Leonard | Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Calvin came to Saint Mary’s Tuesday and stole the show – the No. 15 Knights swept Saint Mary’s (30-17, 30-23, 30-25).

Knights senior outside hitter Kristen Kalb tallied a match-high 17 kills to go along with her 12 digs, senior middle hitter Molly Krikke had 16 kills and a match best .484 hitting percentage in the winning effort, and junior Libero Lauren DeGroot posted a match high 17 digs in the victory to round off Calvin’s big performance.

The seasoned veterans were just what Saint Mary’s coach Julie Schroeder-Biek wanted her team prepared for, but the Belles simply never found a rhythm.

“Play tonight was on the flat side. There were definitely good things happening but we just didn’t build on those things,” she said. “[We] didn’t get excited about those things enough to build our momentum.”

The same Belles team that saw four players post double-doubles in the last two matches was not on the court tonight to face the No. 1 squad in the conference.

“Calvin is a good team, but I felt that overall our play lacked heart tonight,” Schroeder-Biek said. “There was that little extra spark that was missing tonight.”

Despite the loss, some Belles stood out individually. Sophomore outside hitter Lorna Slupczynski notched a team-high 11 kills, while junior middle blocker Kaela Hellmann tallied eights of her own to go along with four service aces and a team-best 15 digs.

Schroeder-Biek was proud of her starting blockers.

“Kaela [Hellman] did have a good game.  She played nice and aggressive in all aspects of her game,” Schroeder-Biek said. “She played to win from beginning to end.  The stats tell her game well … very few errors, good kill percentage, team high digs, team high service aces, team high solo blocks. She and Lorna were our two most effective attackers.” 

The Knights improved their record to 11-3 and a perfect 6-0 in MIAA play. Saint Mary’s dropped to 6-8 and 3-4, respectively.

The Belles have some work to do in the next few days before matching up with Tri-State and Bethel over the weekend.

Schroeder-Biek was focused on improving one thing.

“To put it simply, our fight, our competitive spirit,” she said.