Late Comeback Lifts Belles to Sweep of Comets
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Trailing throughout much of the third set, including 23-21, the Saint Mary's volleyball team scored four straight points to sweep MIAA foe Olivet 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-23) on Friday night.
Saint Mary's broke a 6-6 tie in the opening set with a 7-1 run to put the opener squarely in the Belles' hands. Melanie Kuczek had four kills on five attempts in the opening set while Kati Schneider added four kills of her own. The Belles' defense held the Comets to just a .080 attack percentage in the opener.
In the second set, Olivet stayed close to the Belles throughout the set until a four-point run turned a one-point lead into a 20-15 Saint Mary's advantage. Despite getting within two points of the Saint Mary's lead, the Belles' .457 hitting percentage in the set was too much in the end.
Olivet appeared to be forcing a fourth set as the Comets held a 22-19 lead and a 23-21 advantage just a few points later. The Belles, however, picked up big kills from Melanie Kuczek, Kati Schneider, and Danie Brink to out-score Olivet down the stretch and take the three-set sweep.
The team's .379 attack percentage is the best of the season to this point as Saint Mary's notched 49 kills with 13 errors on 95 attempts. Three players - Brink, Kuczek, and Katie Hecklinski - hit over a .500 on the night for the Belles.
Kati Schneider had a match-high 15 kills while Melanie Kuczek hit .529 with 10 kills and one error on 17 attempts. Katie Hecklinski registered her third double-double of the season with 12 kills and a match-high 11 digs while hitting .524. Danie Brink added 37 assists for the Belles and had five kills on just seven attempts for a .714 attack percentage.
With their 4-1 mark in MIAA action, the Belles (8-5) are off to their best five-game start in conference play since joining the league in 1997.
The Belles will have short rest as they host Alma tomorrow afternoon for a 1:00 p.m. MIAA match against the Scots.