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SMC Volleyball: Belles take on Albion in final home game of season

Samantha Leonard | Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Saint Mary’s hosts Albion tonight at 7 in the Belles’ final match at the Angela Athletic Facility this season. The Belles are sixth in the MIAA standings and hope to pass fifth-place Albion.

With a record of 4-7 in league play and 9-14 overall, the Belles have had their ups and downs this season. Their record started to spiral downward after a 3-0 loss to Hope on Oct. 4. Saint Mary’s then lost to last-place Olivet in a brutal, five-game match.

After going 2-2 in the Millikin Invitational this weekend, the Belles are looking for a win to get back on track.

“Winning is definitely not my only measure of success. I want this team to step onto the court and compete from start to finish,” Belles coach Julie Schroeder-Biek said. “We are such a good team, but we just, many times, start slow and then chase the opponent rather than set the standard and make the opponent chase us.”

With a record of 5-6 in league play and 8-13 overall, Albion matches up evenly with Saint Mary’s. Setting the pace of the game will be the Belles’ top objective against Albion.

“Albion’s strength is in their outside attack; they also have some pretty strong servers,” Schroeder-Biek said. “When we played them early in the season, they played well as a team and really backed each other up and were scrappy on defense.”

A scrappy team can be the hardest to play against, and Schroeder-Biek is expecting her Belles to meet the challenge.

“Team effort is key in this match,” Schroeder-Biek said. “I expect everyone to step their game up. We are in the home stretch and need everyone’s full effort.”