Belles top Brits in MIAA matchup
Observer Sports Staff | Friday, October 7, 2016
Saint Mary’s earned another win in its return to conference play, riding the momentum of a comfortable first set on its way to a 3-1 victory over Trine.
Six consecutive points early in the first set helped the Belles (9-10, 5-3 MIAA) to an early lead, which never looked in danger as Saint Mary’s eventually won the set by 13 points, ending after a kill by junior outside hitter Rachel Bonek.
In the second set, the Belles stormed to a 14-6 lead and remained in control, winning 25-15 behind another set-deciding kill from Bonek.
The Thunder took control early in the third set, however, after jumping out to a 6-2 lead. Although the Belles came back to tie the score at 18-18, Trine ultimately won the set, 25-23.
Finding themselves down 11-9 in the fourth set, the Belles won 16 of the next 21 points with senior outside hitter Meaghan Gibbons getting the final kill of the game and securing the win for Saint Mary’s.
Four Belles players ended the game with at least 10 kills, including Gibbons, who had 14 kills and 12 digs, and Bonek, who had 14 kills and zero errors.
The Belles have two matches at Adrian on Saturday, playing the Bulldogs at 1 p.m. before a nonconference game against Siena Heights at 3 p.m.
Saint Mary’s struggled early on against Albion, as it fell victim to a tenth consecutive defeat, losing 4-0 to the Brits.
The Belles (1-10-0, 0-9-0 MIAA) fell behind within the first minute, as Belles freshman goalkeeper Thallia Robles saved Brits junior midfielder Molly Hancock’s shot but couldn’t stop Brits sophomore forward Alex Radzville’s rebound effort.
Just over 11 minutes later, senior forward Domenique Sarnecky made it 2-0 in favor of the Brits (4-6-1, 3-6-0 MIAA) with a headed goal. By the 18th minute, the Belles found themselves trailing 3-0, as Sarnecky set up Radzville to extend the Brits’ lead again.
The Belles had few scoring chances in the first half, with a close-range free kick from junior defender Kay Thursby being one of its two shots that resulted from those opportunities in the half, but were unable to convert any of them.
In the second half, Saint Mary’s had more opportunities to get a goal back, with another free kick and a corner coming early in the half. It was Albion, however, who scored the lone goal of the period, as Brits senior midfielder Taylor Shrader fired a shot past Robles and into the upper half of the net.
Next up for Saint Mary’s is a trip to Olivet. The Belles and the Comets will kick off at 4 p.m. Friday.