Belles Swept by Nationally-Ranked Knights

Box Score

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team was swept by fourth-ranked and defending national champion Calvin, 3-0 (26-24, 25-19, 25-12) on Tuesday night.

Melanie Kuczek led the Belles with 11 kills and three blocks against Calvin.
Melanie Kuczek led the Belles with
11 kills and three blocks
against Calvin.
In the first set, the visiting Knights used a pair of four-point runs early on to establish a 13-8 advantage. Calvin continued to hold on to that same five-point advantage at 19-14, but that is when the Belles came fighting right back into the match. Meaghan Gibbons and Clare McMillan notched an ace each, Melanie Kuczek put down a pair of kills, and the Belles got back-to-back blocks to make it a 22-20 affair. A pair of errors by the Knights a few points later tied the set at 23-23, and Samantha Grady added an ace of her own to put the Belles up set point at 24-23. The Knights, however, were able to rattle off three points in-a-row to overtake the lead and claim the 26-24 opening set win.

The second set saw Saint Mary's fall behind 11-0, but the Belles again showed their grit and battled their way back into the set. After the first 11 points, Saint Mary's out-scored the Knights 19-14 while going on runs of four, four, and three points to make it 21-16 and force Calvin into taking a timeout. A three-point spurt late cut the Calvin lead to three at 22-19, but the initial deficit was too much to overtake as the Knights went on to claim the second set 25-19.

The Knights posted their best hitting percentage of the evening in the third set (.409) while the Belles had their least-effective attack percentage of the match in the same set (.043). Calvin put together a six-point run early and distanced themselves for good with another six-point run midway through the set.

Melanie Kuczek led the Belles with 11 kills and three blocks while posting a .421 hitting percentage. Kati Schneider added nine kills and a team-best 11 digs. Clare McMillan tallied 16 assists while Lexi Grady posted 12 assists.

The Belles (3-6, 2-3 MIAA) are back on the court on Friday, September 19 when they host Kalamazoo at 7:00 p.m.