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SMC Volleyball: Triangular tourney on tap for St. Mary’s

Samantha Leonard | Friday, September 28, 2007

Saint Mary’s will host a triangular tournament Saturday with Bethel College and conference rival Tri-State.

After getting swept by Calvin on Tuesday, the Belles have been working hard before taking on both the Pilots and the Thunder.

In order to compete against the two squads, then Belles will need to put the Calvin match in the past, Belles coach Julie Schroeder-Biek said.

“From this point forward, our focus has got to be that [this] next match … is our most important match and play like we mean it – with intensity.  No looking forward and no looking back,” Schroeder-Biek said.

The Tri-State match will be a little more important to the Belles, since the Thunder are conference competitors and the Pilots are not.

“Tri-State is the only conference opponent that we haven’t seen yet this year,” Schroeder-Biek said. “We have high goals to accomplish – one of which is to be a first-round host for our tournament.”

For Saint Mary’s to host a first-round march, it must finish fourth or higher in the league. Tri-State currently holds the No. 4 spot at 4-2, and the Belles are in fifth at 3-4.

“We will be again working on tightening up our own game,” Schroeder-Biek said. “We will have to be on our toes against both of these teams. … We will be making adjustments in parts of our defense. Primarily quickening it up and working on our players confidently and aggressively playing their positions.”

Schroeder-Biek said she has been studying the competition, which are typically strong teams.

“Tri-State is traditionally very strong defensively,” Schroeder-Biek said. “And this year, I expect Tri-State’s offense to be even more powerful. One of their previously injured attackers is back on the roster and they added a strong junior college transfer. It should be a good match.”

Bethel is also a dominant team, and the Belles will not take the non-conference match lightly, Schroeder-Biek said.

The Belles start the meet against the Thunder at 11 a.m.