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Belles volleyball lose tenth straight, fall to North Park

Woes continued for the Saint Mary’s volleyball squad this weekend, as they faced another highly regarded opponent. North Park came to town after receiving votes in the most recent national polls, and they swept the Belles in three consecutive sets. Saint Mary’s has now lost eleven straight sets dating back to Sept. 20. They fell to 3-10 and 0-2 in MIAA play.

Saint Mary’s got off to a solid start in the first set, leading for much of the early portions of the game. Junior outside hitter Colleen McCarthy delivered one of her team-leading nine kills to give the Belles a 9-8 lead in the first set, but that was as good as it got. North Park ripped off seven straight points to take a commanding lead. The Belles remained within striking range, down 18-14 a few minutes later. But then North Park notched another 7-0 run, cementing a smooth 25-14 first set victory.

In the second set, again, Saint Mary’s led in the early going. They went up 11-10 after a North Park service error. However, the visitors claimed seven of the next eight points to take the 17-13 advantage. McCarthy nearly rallied the Belles back into this one, with a kill and a service ace sparking a quick three-point spurt. That brought the Belles to within 22-20, but North Park closed out the set by scoring the final three points.

The third set was less competitive, as Saint Mary’s final lead was 6-5. North Park blitzed the Belles for four straight points, and then a few points later, they replicated the feat to take a 16-10 lead. The Belles couldn’t string together consecutive points for the rest of the set, and one final 5-0 spurt for North Park clinched the result. The Belles lost the final set, 25-14.

Despite the loss, McCarthy put together another solid performance with her nine kills and nine digs. She also delivered the team’s only two service aces. Senior libero Emma Watford added 11 digs.

The Belles now head on the road for three games, starting with a conference clash against Hope on Tuesday night. The game starts at 7 p.m.

Contact Aidan Thomas at athoma28@nd.edu

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