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Belles volleyball win three of four on opening weekend

The Saint Mary’s volleyball squad got their season off to a hot start this past weekend, winning three of their four contests. The Belles gained a lot of experience in close matches, battling three opponents to five sets, and winning another in four sets. Ultimately, Saint Mary’s split a pair of five-setters on Friday, beating Bluffton and falling to Capital. On Saturday, the Belles toppled Waynesburg in four sets and Defiance in five. 

Starting off their 2022 campaign against Bluffton, Saint Mary’s showed strong resolve in garnering their first victory of the season. They dropped the first two sets, 26-28 and 21-25. In a gritty and lengthy battle, however, the Belles worked their way back. They claimed the third set 25-20, and needed an extra point to seal the fourth set at 26-24. Then, in the match finale, Saint Mary’s eked out the clinching set victory, toppling Bluffton 15-12. 

However, in the second game of the day, Saint Mary’s fell victim to a similar comeback. Against Capital, the Belles got off to the hot start, winning 26-24 and 25-23. However, Capital rallied in dominant fashion. They took set 3, 25-14, and the fourth by a 25-17 margin. That led to a winners-take-all fifth set, and the Belles couldn’t find their mojo. They lost 15-10 in the decisive set. 

On day two, there would be no splits for the Belles. Saint Mary’s won six of their nine sets on the day, winning both matches. Facing Waynesburg, the Belles split the first two sets. But after a close first half of the match, Saint Mary’s pulled away, winning the last two sets by eight and nine point margins to claim a stress-free victory. In the weekend finale, Saint Mary’s delivered yet another comeback victory, dispatching of Defiance in five sets. 

Now, battle-tested after a tough but largely successful weekend, Saint Mary’s returns home for a big-time clash against Trine. Although the game won’t count in the conference standings, the clash represents a big measuring stick moment for the Belles. Trine claimed the fourth and final spot in the conference tournament last season, so they provide a good comparison for what it’ll take to vault the Belles into postseason contention. They will compete in their season opener, playing at the Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

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