Belles Defeated by Spartans
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Visiting Manchester took three sets in-a-row to defeat the Saint Mary's volleyball team 3-1 (23-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-20) on Wednesday evening.
Saint Mary's broke a 14-14 tie in the first set with four straight points to take an 18-14 lead. While the Spartans edged their way back to within 22-21 of the Belles, Saint Mary's maintained the point advantage on the way to a 25-23 first-set win.
With the second set tied 17-17, the Belles got back-to-back points on kills by Katie Hecklinski and Kati Schneider to lead 19-17. The Spartans responded with a decisive seven-point run to lead 24-19 before squaring the match at a set apiece with the 25-20 win.
After Manchester opened the third set with a 6-1 lead, Saint Mary's scraped their way back into the mix to tie the score at 9-9. The teams traded points to see the set tied at 10-10 before the Spartans used a four-point run to take a 14-10 advantage. Trailing 16-11, the Belles again made a push to get back into the set with four consecutive points to cut the Manchester lead to 16-15. A few points later, however, the Spartans pulled away with a five-point run for a 22-16 lead that Saint Mary's was unable to overcome late in the set.
The fourth set was tied at 7-7 before Manchester won eight of the following nine points for a 15-8 lead. Neither team won more than two points in a row after that point in the set, giving the Spartans enough of an advantage to take the fourth set by a 25-20 score and claim the win.
Kati Schneider, Katie Hecklinski, and Melanie Kuczek all had double-digit kills on the night. Schneider's 17 kills was a match high while Hecklinski added 16 and Kuczek chipped in 10. Schneider also picked up her tenth double-double of the season with 12 digs. Clare McMillan had 38 assists, and Meredith Mersits led all players in the match with 27 digs.
The Belles (5-9, 3-4 MIAA) have a break in action this weekend and return to conference play on Tuesday, October 1 when they travel to Adrian for a 7:00 p.m. contest against the Bulldogs.