Belles Downed by No. 2 Flying Dutch
HOLLAND, Mich. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team lost 3-0 (25-9, 25-16, 25-20) at second-ranked Hope on Friday night.
In the first set, the Flying Dutch broke open a 4-3 match and quickly turned that one-point lead into a 16-6 advantage. Hope hit .600 in the set with 15 kills on 25 attempts and no errors.
The second set also saw Hope go on run to open play and take an 8-2 lead. Saint Mary's was able to edge their way back into things after a kill by Taylor Etzell, an ace by Kati Schneider, a kill by Katie Hecklinski on a blocking error, and a Hope attack error. The Belles stayed within striking distance at 11-9. Hope, however, scored seven of the next points to extend their lead to 18-11 on their way to the 25-16 win in the set.
In the third set, the Belles forced Hope into an early timeout by storming out to a quick 6-0 lead. Saint Mary's pushed that lead to 7-1, but the Flying Dutch responded with an eight-point run to go up 9-7. The Belles continued to keep with Hope, but the Flying Dutch pick up points in small spurts while Saint Mary's could only pick up a point or two on the counterattack. That led to Hope turning a 17-14 lead into a 20-14 advantage. From that point, the Flying Dutch maintained at least a four-point cushion ahead of the Belles for the remainder of the set.
Melanie Kuczek had five kills and four blocks to lead the Belles. Katie Hecklinski and Kati Schneider each chipped in four kills. Meredith Mersits added 10 digs, and Clare McMillan tallied 10 assists.
The Belles have a quick turnaround as they host top-ranked Calvin on Saturday, September 21 starting at noon.