Belles Fall to Hornets in Conference Opener
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team dropped a 3-1 (28-26, 25-20, 23-25, 25-18) decision to Kalamazoo in both teams' conference opener on Tuesday evening.
The Belles were able to pull out to a 15-9 lead in the first set and expanded that lead to 19-12 on a kill by Kati Schneider. The Hornets continued to chip away at the lead, eventually holding off set-point by the Belles and tying the game at 24-24. Trailing 25-24, it was Saint Mary's turn to stave off set-point with a kill by Stephanie Bodien. An ace by Meredith Mersits put the Belles in position to take the opening set, but Kalamazoo rattled off three straight points to take the 1-0 lead.
In the second set, neither team was able to establish more than a three-point lead until the host Hornets 20-16. After then pushing the lead to 22-17, Kalamazoo maintained their lead for the 25-20 decision in the second.
The third set was the Belles' from the start of the set. With the exception of ties at 17, 22, and 23, Saint Mary's was in possession of the lead from the start to the finish of the set. Schneider and Bodien both had four kills in the set while Meghann Rose and Danie Brink each contributed five digs.
In the fourth set, it would be the Hornets who held control and momentum throughout the set to take the match 3-1. After breaking a 2-2 tie, Kalamazoo kept at least a two-point lead over Saint Mary's down the stretch.
Kati Schneider led the way for the Belles' offense with 12 kills to go along with 10 digs on the night while Stephanie Bodien was right behind with 11 kills of her own. Danie Brink tallied 32 assists with 14 digs for Saint Mary's. Meghann Rose, meanwhile, had a team-high 20 digs for the Belles.
Saint Mary's (1-4, 0-1 MIAA) will host defending national champion and #1 ranked Calvin on Friday, September 10 in their home opener beginning at 7:00 p.m.