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SMC Volleyball: Belles drop three in tournament

Observer Staff Report | Monday, September 2, 2013


The Belles opened the 2013 season by traveling to Ada, Ohio, for the Ohio Northern Invitational. 

The Belles (1-3) fell 3-0 (25-14, 25-11, 25-19) to host Ohio Northern and defeated Thiel 3-1 (19-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-18) Friday. On Saturday, Saint Mary’s lost a pair of 3-0 matches to Heidelberg (25-22, 30-28, 25-22) and DePauw (25-18, 25-19, 25-21).

Throughout the tournament, several Belles had impressive performances. In the tournament opener against Ohio Northern (4-0), sophomore outside hitter Katie Hecklinski had 10 kills with five digs, while freshman setter Clare McMillan had 16 assists. 

After dropping the first set to Thiel (0-4), the Belles bounced back behind the play of Hecklinski and junior outside hitter Kati Schneider, who each compiled 12 kills, and McMillan, who added 30 assists. Junior middle hitter Melanie Kuczek added 10 kills against the Tomcats, while junior libero Meredith Mersits chipped in with a team-high 18 digs in leading the Belles to their first win of the season.

Against Heidelberg (2-1), Schneider led the team with 15 kills and added 13 digs. Junior libero Samantha Grady tallied 12 digs in the loss, while McMillan added 26 assists and10 digs of her own. 

In the tournament finale against DePauw (2-1), Schneider had nine kills, Kuczek had eight kills and junior outside hitter Brooke Fowler added six kills. Schneider also had 13 digs, and Mersits led all players in the game with 16 digs. 

At the conclusion of the tournament, Kuczek was named to the All-Tournament Team. 

The Belles (1-3) will open their conference season against Kalamazoo in Kalamazoo, Mich., on Tuesday at 7 p.m