SMC tennis to play first match of season; volleyball picks up two wins
On Thursday Saint Mary’s faces Grace in Winona Lake, Indiana, for their first match of the season.
While the Belles have not yet seen action in 2016, the Lancers already boast an overall record of 5-2, with three of their victories coming by 9-0 sweeps.
The Belles ended last season’s ranking fourth out of the nine teams in the MIAA conference. They will have a brief fall season of three matches and their spring calendar will extend from February until May.
This matchup will include six singles matches and three doubles matches. Junior Kelsey Kopf said this Thursday provides the first real opportunity to see how the team will play as a unit.
“We’re all really excited for this first match and getting a chance to see how our team comes together as a whole,” Kopf said. “Even though our main season is in the spring, the fall season is a great time to see the potential of our team.”
The Belles are competing against a solid Lancers team, but they are confident in their abilities to start this fall season off strong, Kopf said.
“We have a lot of good players this year, including freshmen,” Kopf continued. “We’re eager for a good turnout for our first match.”
Saint Mary’s begins play Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at Grace College.
Saint Mary’s recorded two wins this weekend, sweeping both Rockford and Illinois Tech on Saturday at Illinois Tech.
In the first set against Rockford, the Belles (4-6, 1-2 MIAA) got off to a slow start, trailing 5-0, but soon took an 18-13 lead, before the Regents (0-8, 0-2 NAC) came back to tie the score. The Belles came out on top in the end, though, winning 25-22.
Saint Mary’s cruised through the second set, taking a 5-2 lead early on and continuing to extend it, eventually winning 25-13. The third set was similarly comfortable for the Belles, who won 11 of the first 12 points on their way to a 25-10 victory, with the winning kill coming from senior left side hitter Mckenzie Todd.
Senior right side hitter Alexis Grady had 16 assists and 9 kills, while Todd also had 9 kills.
Much like their first match, the Belles found themselves tied at 18-18 in the first set with the Scarlet Hawks (5-6), but again held on at the end for a 25-22 victory.
The Belles trailed 14-1 in the second set, but took 10 of the next 13 points on their way to a 25-19 win. Midway through the third set, the Belles again pulled away, extending a 14-12 lead to 24-15, and won the set 25-18.
In the match versus the Scarlet Hawks, junior middle hitter Leah Buck tied a school record with eight block assists, while senior middle hitter Colleen Kilgallon recorded 12 kills.
The Belles will meet Alma on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. at Saint Mary’s to back into conference play.