Belles Topped by Scots
- Meaghan Gibbons had 12 kills, 10 digs, and three aces.
- Katie Hecklinski and McKenzie Todd each tallied 14 digs.
- Clare McMillan posted 23 assists, and Alexis Grady added 16 assists.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team lost a 3-1, (25-20, 25-18, 24-26, 25-22) conference match to Alma on Friday evening.
After falling behind 10-3 in the opening set, the Belles staged a big comeback to pull within a point of the Scots at 11-10. Meaghan Gibbons had a kill and an ace, Katie Hecklinski put down a pair of kills, and Rachel Bonek added a kill of her own to regain some momentum for Saint Mary's. The Scots, however, responded with a 4-0 run to regain a 15-10 lead. Undeterred, the Belles continued to chip away at Alma and edged their way back within a point at 18-17. Back to back blocks by the Scots followed by a kill made it a 21-17 score in favor of Alma, and the Scots led by at least four points down the stretch in the 25-20 first set.
The Belles jumped out to a 5-1 lead early in the second set with a pair of kills by Colleen Kilgallon and another ace by Gibbons. Alma responded by winning 14 of 16 points a few moments later to claim a 17-10 advantage over the Belles. That scoring spurt proved to be the difference as Alma held the lead the remainder of the way to a 25-18 second set.
The third set was filled with its dramatics as the Belles erased a 15-9 deficit to tie the set at 17-17. A kill by Hecklinski followed by an attack error by the Scots gave the Belles their first lead since early in the set at 19-18. With the score knotted at 22-22 just a few short points later, the Belles came out of a timeout and got a big kill by Kilgallon to take a 23-22 lead. Two consecutive blocks by the Scots, however, put Alma up match-point at 24-23. On the next point, Alexis Grady found a big open spot in the Alma defense and put down a kill to tie the score at 24-24. Leah Buck then slammed down a monster kill to give the Belles the set-point advantage. Saint Mary's capped off the win with an attack error by the Scots for the 26-24 win.
The fourth set was just as action-packed as the third as the set was not decided until the late stages of play. With the score tied at 15-15, the Belles got a kill by Grady and later got a solo block from Buck to gain an 18-15 lead. Two points later, Buck made it 19-16 with a kill as the Belles looked to force a decisive fifth set. Alma tied the set at 19-19, but Rachel Bonek put a kill down the line to keep the Belles moving forward. Two attack errors a few points later gave Saint Mary's a 22-20 advantage. The Scots, however, continued a strong blocking night at the net and rattled off a five-point run to claim the 25-22 decision.
Meaghan Gibbons led the Belles with 12 kills while adding 10 digs for her seventh double-double of the year. The junior also had three aces on the night. Katie Hecklinski and McKenzie Todd each chipped in 14 digs. Clare McMillan had a match-high 23 assists, and Alexis Grady posted 16 assists in the match.
The Belles (14-12, 7-8 MIAA) travel to Albion for a noon conference contest against the Brits before taking on Kenyon at 2:00 p.m.