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SMC Volleyball: Belles season comes to an end

Samantha Leonard | Monday, November 5, 2007

Saint Mary’s ended its season this weekend in with a loss to top-seeded Calvin in the MIAA tournament semifinals Friday.

Calvin, which ended its regular season 15-1 in league play and ranked No. 16 in the nation, dominated the Belles in a three-game sweep (30-18, 30-23, 30-23).

Calvin advanced to the finals of the tournament with a record of 28-4, while Saint Mary’s season ended at 13-18.

Calvin had four players with at least seven kills. As a team, the Knights offense had a .234 hitting percentage. Senior middle hitter Molly Krikke had 16 kills and a .304 hitting percentage to lead the Knights. Senior outside hitter Kristen Kalb contributed 11 kills. Freshman outside hitter Kim Wigboldy had eight, and sophomore outside hitter Sara Kramer added seven.

Belles sophomore outside hitter Lorna Slupcyznski had eight kills and 10 digs. Junior middle blocker Kaela Hellmann added seven kills and 10 digs.

Senior setter Amanda David led Saint Mary’s offensive effort with 23 assists – and had 10 digs on defense – while fellow senior Marisa Gross contributed nine digs, in their final match in Belles uniforms.

Gross was emotional after her final match for the Belles, who won their last home match of the season, 3-0 over Albion on Oct. 16.

“It makes me sad to think that I will never play another regular season match at home, but I am very happy that my last match in Angela was a win, and an avenged conference win at that,” she said.

“More than anything I will miss playing volleyball as a Belle and being able to compete side by side with other Saint Mary’s women. Being able to play the sport I love at the college I love is something I will always have fond memories of.”

The Belles had an up-and-down season with big wins and surprising disappointments, but Gross said she would not trade the experience for anything.

“I enjoy every day that I get to put on a Saint Mary’s uniform and compete with my teammates,” she said. “I feel we have gained some much needed momentum in the past few weeks and will finish this season strong and with no regrets. My senior season may or may not be the best record-wise but it has definitely been one I will never forget.”