Belles Shut Out by Scots
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team was swept by visiting Alma in a conference match by 25-20, 25-23, 25-20 scores on Friday night.
After falling behind early in the first set, a kill by Kati Schneider pulled the Belles within 9-7. The Scots rattled off three quick points to regain a 12-7 advantage, but Saint Mary's responded right back with three points in-a-row to stay within striking distance. The teams traded points back-and-forth, but the Scots distanced themselves with a four point run to go ahead 22-15 before claiming the 25-20 first set win.
The Scots claimed an early lead again in the second set by winning five of the first six points played to go ahead 5-1. Saint Mary's fought their way into contention after back-to-back blocks made it 8-5 in favor of Alma as the Scots called a timeout. The visitors took the largest lead of the set at 14-8, but again the Belles had a response. Five straight points by Saint Mary's got the Belles within a point of the Scots at 14-13. After points were traded back and forth between the teams, Saint Mary's drew even with Alma with a Samantha Grady service ace to make it 17-17. The set remained close down the stretch with ties at 19-19, 20-20, 21-21, 22-22, and 23-23. Alma, however, closed out the second set with back-to-back points for the 25-23 win.
The third set opened in much of the same way as the second set finished as both teams battled for position and the lead. Leah Buck and Lexi Grady teamed up for a block to get Saint Mary's within a point at 8-7, but the Scots took the next three points to regain an 11-7 advantage. The Belles were within a point of the lead again at 12-11, but Alma claimed six of the next eight points to go ahead 18-13. Saint Mary's cut the deficit to three points on three separate occasions late in the set, but the comeback effort fell short with the Scots securing the win with a 25-20 third set.
Melanie Kuczek had 11 kills on the night on just 22 attempts with one error for a .455 while adding a pair of blocks. Kati Schneider also chipped in 11 kills for the Belles, and Leah Buck had four blocks in the match. Meaghan Gibbons led all players with 17 digs, and Katie Hecklinski also reached double-digit digs with 10. Lexi Grady registered 17 assists while Clare McMillan recorded 13 helpers against the Scots.
The Belles (7-8, 4-5 MIAA) have a short turnaround as they travel to Olivet for a noon match tomorrow, October 4, against the Comets.