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SMC Volleyball: Belles take on MIAA teams a second time

Chris Michalski | Friday, October 9, 2009

The Saint Mary’s volleyball team will get a second chance this weekend against two teams that they previously lost to this season. The Belles will face Trine today and Adrian on Saturday.

After the Calvin match on Tuesday, the Belles had played everyone in their conference once, and will now begin the second round of games. With an MIAA record of 3-5, the Belles have a distance to climb in the standings to reach last year’s fourth seed in the conference tournament.

Belles Coach Toni Kuschel was happy with her team’s performance on Tuesday against a very talented No. 11 Calvin team, despite losing 3-0, which encouraged her for this weekend.

“I am hoping that we will play our game and focus on what we can control out on the court,” Kuschel said. “If we can do those things I think we have a great chance.”

Kuschel should also be encouraged with how close the losses were back in September, where both matches went to a dramatic fifth set. Furthermore, Adrian has been struggling all season, and is currently on a 13-game losing streak. Nonetheless, Kuschel is not taking any opponent lightly.

“This is a very strong conference that we compete in,” Kuschel said. “No team in the conference is just going to give us a win. We have to go out there and take it.”

Trine University, today’s opponent, is currently 4-4 in the league and coming off a dominating 3-0 defeat of Olivet College. Freshman middle hitter Betsy Irwin leads The Thunder with 294 kills on the season. The match will be played tonight at 7 p.m. in Hershey Hall on Trine’s campus.

Saturday, the Belles will return home to face the Bulldogs, whose last win was against Saint Mary’s College. That match will begin at 1 p.m. in Angela Athletic Facility.

The two matches this weekend are part of a string of a nine straight MIAA matches, which continues on Wednesday against Alma.