Belles Snap Skid with Win over Hornets

Box Score

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team came back after dropping the first set to defeat conference foe Kalamazoo, 3-1 (27-29, 25-20, 25-23, 25-17).

The win snapped a six-match losing skid for the Belles.

The Belles appeared to be poised to take the first set while holding on to a 23-19 lead. The Hornets went on a quick four-point run to knot the score at 23-23. The Belles made some big plays - a kill by Katie Hecklinski, a kill by Melanie Kuczek, and double block by Kati Schneider and Kuczek - to go up set point only to have Kalamazoo come back with a response before the Hornets came back for the 29-27 decision.

With the second set tied at 6-6, the Belles made a push that proved to be the difference by taking eight of the next nine points to establish a 14-7 lead. Kalamazoo continued to chip away at the Belles' advantage and pulled within 18-16. Saint Mary's came right back with a four-point spurt to go up 22-16 on the way to the 25-20 win to square the match at a set apiece.

Meaghan Gibbons had a season-best 11 kills while hitting .478.
Meaghan Gibbons had a season-best
11 kills while hitting .478.
Kalamazoo jumped out to a 6-2 lead early in the third set, but it was the Belles who put on the rally caps to turn the tables on the Hornets and claim a 14-10 advantage. Saint Mary's continued to hold the lead until Kalamazoo tied the set at 19-19. The Belles regained the lead right back with a kill and a Kalamazoo attacking error and did not relinquish that lead late in the set as Saint Mary's held off the Hornets for the 25-23 victory.

Riding the momentum of the third-set win, the Belles took the first five points of the fourth set to force a Kalamazoo timeout. Out of that break, the Hornets won four points in-a-row, but Saint Mary's maintained their lead. Up 6-5 a few points later, the Belles went on a five-point run followed by a six-point run to balloon their lead to 17-6. Despite a late surge by the Hornets, the Belles pushed their way though for the four-set win with a 25-17 fourth set decision.

Four different Belles notched at least 11 kills on the night. Kati Schneider led all players with 18 kills, Katie Hecklinski added 14 kills, Melanie Kuczek tallied 12 kills, and Meaghan Gibbons posted a season-high 11 kills. Schneider and Hecklinski both registered double-doubles with 12 and 25 digs, respectively. Clare McMillan was just shy of another 50 assist night with 49 helpers. Meredith Mersits notched 22 digs, and Samantha Grady picked up 12 digs on the night.

The Belles (6-10, 4-5 MIAA) hit the road tomorrow to take on conference foe Albion and non-conference opponent Franklin at a triangular match event hosted by Albion beginning at noon.