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SMC Volleyball: SMC rallies but falls to Flying Dutch

Bobby Graham | Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Belles dropped another close conference match to MIAA rival and No. 8 Hope Wednesday, 3-2.

“This match was a really tough loss,” coach Toni Kuschel said. “We had a lot of unforced errors and there were a few plays that did not go our way.”

The loss was the Belles’ third that came in five sets, a sign that the team is playing well but is having issues closing out.

“We have to learn to keep executing what is working for us at the time and capitalize on the other teams weaknesses”, Kuschel said.

The Flying Dutch got off to a quick start, breezing to victory in the first two games 25-9 and 25-19. Saint Mary’s rallied together, however, rebounding to take the next two games 25-20 and 25-21.

Hope recovered to win the fifth and final set 15-10.

The Belles continued to receive stellar play from senior star Lorna Slupczynski, who recorded a double-double with 12 kills and 18 digs.

Despite a tough start to the season, Kuschel recognized the talent on the roster and is confident that her squad is making continual progress.

“Our team is improving each game,” she said. “I think is says a lot about how mentally tough they can be to come in to a strong conference and play the way they have been playing.”

The Flying Dutch had a balanced attack with four different players notching double-digit kills. Jacie Fiedler, Cassidy Bulthius, Traci Baker and Sara DeWeerdt all had at least 10 kills for Hope.

The Belles will take a much-needed break this week to readjust themselves and prepare for conference rival Olivet Tuesday at home.