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SMC Volleyball: Belles fall to conference foe Albion

Chris Michalski | Monday, September 28, 2009

The Belles had momentum from back-to-back sweeps in MIAA play, but were unable to keep it going against conference rival Albion College.

The Belles (6-6, 2-4) lost 3-1 to the Britons, with whom they had been tied in conference standings.

Before the game they had been playing well, and it seemed as if the ball was rolling in the right direction, especially after a dominant performance against Manchester.

“Our team played really well [against Manchester],” Belles coach Toni Kuschel said. “Danie [Brink] and Liana [Rohr] ran our offense really well.”

But the Britons were also coming off an impressive 3-0 performance against Olivet, and in front of a loud crowd in Kresge Gymnasium, the Britons came out aggressively on offense and took an early 14-7 lead.

The Belles managed to rally to tie up the score at 20. An attack error by the Belles and a kill by Briton hitter Emilee Goralski allowed the Britons to take the slight edge that they built on to win the first set 25-23.

In the second set, it was the Belles that were able to jump out to an early 10-5 lead, but the Britons went on a 9-1 run that included five hitting errors by the Belles and ultimately took the second set 25-21.

The Belles took the third set comfortably 25-18, but the fourth set remained close. With a total of 14 ties in the fourth set, the Belles kept it close, but once again hitting errors were the Achilles heel, and the Brits managed to win the fourth set 25-21.

In the match, sophomore setter Danie Brink had another impressive performance with 34 assists and 11 digs.

Freshman outside hitter Stephanie Bodien led the way on offense with 17 kills and senior Lorna Slupczynski followed that effort with 10 of her own.

The Belles will return to Angela Athletic Facility on Wednesday when they face off against MIAA opponent Kalamazoo and try to get back above .500 on the season. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.