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SMC Volleyball: Team moves on with 3-game win

Samantha Leonard | Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Saint Mary’s, the fifth seed in the MIAA tournament, shocked fourth-seed Tri-State in round one Tuesday with a 3-0 sweep.

The Belles improved to 13-17 with the 30-19, 30-20, 31-29 win while Tri-State ended its season with a 13-15 mark. The Thunder swept the Belles twice during the regular season.

Saint Mary’s jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the opening game and cruised to an early 1-0 edge in the match.

The Belles did not start game two as well, quickly falling behind 7-2. But Saint Mary’s put together a 17-7 scoring spree and never let the Thunder back into the game.

Tri-State opened game three with another 7-2 advantage, but Saint Mary’s again persevered. The Belles worked to cut the deficit to 20-19.

But the Thunder struck back, taking a 28-25 lead. The Belles were able to come back with six of the game’s final seven points to finish the match.

Three Belles posted double-doubles on the evening. Freshman outside hitter Andrea Sasgen had a team-high 15 kills and 13 digs to lead the squad. Sophomore middle blocker Lorna Slupcznyski contributed 13 kills and 14 digs while senior setter Amanda David lead a strong offensive effort of 45 assists and produced 10 digs on defense.

Junior middle blocker Kaela Hellmann and freshman middle blocker Jacee Watson each chipped in 11 kills for the Belles offense.

Saint Mary’s advanced to the semifinals of the MIAA tournament for the second year in a row. On Friday, the Belles will take on top-seeded and nationally ranked Calvin for the second-straight year in Grand Rapids, Mich.

To face Calvin and finish the season strong, head coach Julie Schroeder-Biek has an agenda.

“The key will be us playing with the heart and soul of winners – putting in that extra effort to make that dig, get to that set, close that block, be in position to pass the ball to target, communicating on the court to teammates,” Schroeder-Biek said. “Just being determined to finish the season strong. Our key is our mindset.”

The Belles take on Calvin at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the semifinals of the MIAA tournament.