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Belles volleyball drops three matches in weekend series

The 3-2 Saint Mary’s College volleyball team headed into Angola, Indiana, Friday to compete in the MIAA/NCAC Crossover Tournament at Trine University’s MTI Center. The Belles could not have gotten the results they hoped for this weekend, dropping all three matches against DePauw University, The College of Wooster and Hiram College.

On the tournament’s first day, Saint Mary’s was tripped up against DePauw in a 3-1 contest. The Belles broke away from the Tigers in the first set by aid of kills via junior Colleen McCarthy and aces off the hand of freshman Delaney Martin. Kills by freshman Grace Braselton and freshman Mia Shields helped the Belles build an 18-14 advantage into a 23-17 lead. Despite a 5-0 run by the Tigers late in the opening set, Shields secured the game point with an ace at a score of 25-22.

Both sides battling for momentum, the second set saw nine ties through the first 24 points. More kills from McCarthy and Martin plus another much-needed ace from Shields were not enough to prevent DePauw from closing out the second set as victors in a 25-16 win. Saint Mary’s fell behind five points early in the third set but were able to draw even at 20-20 thanks to a timely McCarthy kill. After this, DePauw stormed back with three points in a row. The Tigers ended up finishing out the third set winning handily 25-21. Though the Belles showed resiliency in the fourth set, DePauw closed out a match victory with a 25-20 advantage in the final set of play.

The Friday night stand out was McCarthy who, picking up her fifth double-double of the year, racked up 18 kills and tallied 15 digs. Shields registered a team leading 17 digs, and Martin ended the night with five service aces.

Saint Mary’s was back in action Saturday in a match up against The College of Wooster Fighting Scots. The Belles dropped a tough opening 25-15 but made an impressive showing in the second set after trailing 7-1 early. A couple late kills and a service ace by Shields helped lead the Belles to a 27-25 win-by-two victory over the Fighting Scots in the second set. Wooster limited the Saint Mary’s to only 11 points in the third set. In the fourth and final set, an 8-1 run by the Fighting Scots solidified Wooster’s match defeat of Saint Mary’s.

Shields finished the match with 11 kills, sophomore Cali Allen added a team leading 11 digs and freshman Remington Vincent accumulated 20 assists for the Belles.

In their second match of the day, their third and final match of the MIAA/NCAC Tournament, the Saint Mary’s Belles took on the Hiram College Terriers. After falling in the first set 25-14, the Belles responded by taking the second set in a narrow 25-22 victory. Braselton closed out this one happy set with a solo block. Despite matching the Terriers at scores of 8-8 and 16-16, the Belles lost the third set thanks to a late three-point spurt by Hiram. Fighting to the bitter end, Saint Mary’s dropped the fourth set of the match by four points to cap off their weekend slew of losses.

Against Hiram, McCarthy earned a team-best 20 digs and led all players with 19 kills. Allen even registered a double-double of her own with 16 kills and 17 digs.

The now 3-5 Belles are back in action Friday, traveling to Manchester to face IU-Northwest and Franklin at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively.

Contact Peter Breen at pbreen2@nd.edu.

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