SMC Volleyball splits over the weekend, while soccer falls a seventh straight time
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Saint Mary’s earned a win and a loss over the weekend, losing 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 27-25) to Hope, before beating Olivet 3-0 (25-13, 25-16, 25-15).
The Belles (6-7, 3-3 MIAA) started slowly in their encounter with the Flying Dutch (13-1, 6-0 MIAA), trailing 14-7 in the first set. But they fought back to narrow the score to 18-16, and the set remained close to the end, with Hope winning by four points.
Saint Mary’s had a stronger start to the second half, taking a 10-7 lead, but the Flying Dutch slowly clawed the score back and built a lead of their own, winning 25-22. The Belles had a chance to take the tight second set, with a set point at 25-24. But Hope took the last three points to seal the game.
Junior leftside hitter McKenzie Todd had 19 digs and 10 kills, while senior leftside hitter Meaghan Gibbons also had 10 kills.
The Belles had it much easier against Olivet, taking a 23-9 lead in the opening set and winning 25-13 on a kill from senior rightside hitter Alexis Grady. Saint Mary’s looked similarly comfortable in the second set, with an early 5-0 run to take a 7-2 lead, setting the Belles up to win the set on a Gibbons kill. The Belles won seven consecutive points early in the third set, and six of the last eight, winning on an ace from freshman setter Nicole Borah.
Gibbons led the Belles with 12 kills, while junior rightside hitter Rachel Bonek had 11 kills and 11 digs.
The Belles will play Albion on Wednesday evening. The match begins at Albion at 7 p.m.
Saint Mary’s suffered their seventh consecutive defeat, losing 4-0 to Hope on Friday.
The Flying Dutch (6-1-2, 5-0-2 MIAA) had the larger share of early chances, but Saint Mary’s (1-7, 0-6 MIAA) did have some opportunities to open the scoring in the first 20 minutes. A cross from freshman defender Callie Doyle narrowly eluded junior defender Emily Lambert and found Hope’s goalkeeper instead in the sixth minute. Junior defender Kay Thursby had a close-range shot from a corner blocked five minutes later and senior forward Liza Felix had her shot from outside the box saved in the 17th minute.
It was the Flying Dutch, though, who opened the scoring, when senior forward Elizabeth Perkins finished from close range from a low cross. The Belles appeared to be holding on and looked likely to remain only one goal behind at halftime, but sophomore forward Hillary Curry scored with only a minute remaining in the half.
In the second half, Hope extended their lead again from the penalty spot resulting from a Belles foul while trying to stop a counterattack, with sophomore forward Grace Bubin beating Belles freshman goalkeeper Thallia Robles. The score became 4-0 with just over 20 minutes left on the clock, and with the Belles creating few chances in the time that remained, that was how it finished.
The Belles will play Adrian on Wednesday night. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Saint Mary’s.