SMC vs. Kalamazoo
Belles Stung by Hornets
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team found themselves on the wrong end of a toughly battled MIAA match against Kalamazoo on Tuesday evening.
After dropping the opening set, the Belles came back in commanding fashion to take the second set to square the match up. Kalamazoo then took advantage of offensive misfires by the Belles in the third set and eventually outlasted Saint Mary's in the fourth to take the 3-1 (25-10, 16-25, 25-12, 31-29) win.
In that crucial fourth set, there were 16 ties and six lead changes. Previous to that, there had only been three ties and two lead changes in the first three sets combined. Saint Mary's held the upper hand throughout much of the fourth set, having established a five-point lead and a four-point lead through the 14-10 mark. Kalamazoo stayed within striking distance and tied the set at 17-17. After that turning point in the set, neither team would take more than a two-point lead during the remainder of the match.
The Hornets had appeared to have completed the comeback by going up 24-23, but the Belles continued to show a resiliency that has been with them throughout the year. Stephanie Bodien came up with a big kill to knot the game at 24-24. After staving off match point again with a big solo block by Christi Wyble, the Belles would have four chances to force a decisive fifth set with their 26th, 27th, 28th, and 29th points. Kalamazoo, however, used a kill from the middle and two service aces to turn around a 29-28 disadvantage into a 31-29 win for the match.
Allison Zandarski led the offense with 11 kills while also picking up an ace and three block assists. Ellen Huelsmann, meanwhile, had a strong all-around night with six kills and a team-best .294 attacking percentage, three assists, an ace, 14 digs, and a block assist. Hailee Leitz added a match-high 32 assists while Meghann Rose had a match-high 28 digs of her own.
The Belles will travel to Alma this Friday night before returning to Angela Athletic Facility for a match against Adrian on Saturday.