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SMC Volleyball: Belles drop first MIAA match in straight sets

Michael Blasco | Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Saint Mary’s College (3-2, 0-1 MIAA) dropped its first conference match of the season Tuesday night against Adrian College (3-2, 1-0 MIAA) at the Angela Athletic Facility. The Bulldogs swept the Belles in straight sets (25-15, 25-22, 25-18).

Senior Kaela Hellman led Saint Mary’s offensively and defensively with 10 kills and 11 digs, but put up a mediocre .167 hitting percentage on the night. Also contributing on the defensive end were junior Lorna Slupczynski with 11 digs and sophomore Meghann Rose with 13 digs. Freshman Danielle Brink and junior Liana Rohr contributed 16 assists and 12 assists, respectively. Junior Kathleen Mills also had a solid match, making three kills in seven attempts with no errors for a .429 hitting percentage.

Offensive inconsistency and frustration marked the night for the Belles, who only had two players (Hellman and Mills) post a hitting percentage above .100, and the team finished with 30 errors to Adrian’s 15. Defensively, the Bulldogs added 10 blocks on top of Saint Mary’s three, while senior Samantha Mercy contributed 22 digs.

The Belles came out flatfooted in the first set and were quickly down 21-9. Bolstered by a series of Adrian errors, Saint Mary’s mounted a late rally to draw the score within 6 points, but eventually were defeated 25-15.

After beginning the second set in similar fashion to the first, the Belles again rallied, evening the score at 9-9 from a 5-1 disadvantage. Saint Mary’s kept up with Adrian step-for-step until the set’s final minutes, but fell late after several critical errors. With the score tied at 22-22, Slupczynski – who was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Thomas More Invitational last weekend – made three straight attack errors to give the Bulldogs the game, 25-22.

Things were looking up for the Belles in the third set, who at one point held an 11-8 advantage. Once again, a series of errors stalled the Saint Mary’s attack, and Adrian was able to pull away, closing the set 25-18.