Belles Fall to Tenth-Ranked Flying Dutch
- Rachel Bonek hit .357 with six kills.
- Clare McMillan had 13 assists and 15 digs.
- Katie Hecklinski (15 digs), McKenzie Todd (14 digs), and Alexis Grady (11 digs) each registered double-digit digs.
HOLLAND, Mich. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team lost a 3-0, (25-23, 25-16, 25-21) match at No. 10 Hope on Saturday.
In the opening set, the Belles battled back from a 17-10 deficit to edge within a point at 17-16. McKenzie Todd served up a pair of aces, Leah Buck and Meaghan Gibbons each registered a kill, and Buck and Gibbons teamed up for a block during the run to put Saint Mary's back in contention in the set. The Flying Dutch were able to hold the lead until the Belles got a kill by Rachel Bonek followed by a miscue by Hope made it 22-21 in favor of Saint Mary's. Three straight points by Hope put the Flying Dutch up set point at 24-22, but Bonek kept the Belles alive with another kill to make it 24-23. An attack error by Saint Mary's, however, gave Hope the opener by the 25-23 final.
Saint Mary's came out and claimed an early 6-3 lead in the second set before the Flying Dutch rattled off six consecutive points for a 9-6 lead. The Belles came back with three points of their own to knot the score at 9-9. With the score tied yet again at 11-11, Hope went on what proved to be a decisive run in the set by claiming nine straight points for a 20-11 lead. The Belles were unable to get the deficit to fewer than seven points down the stretch as Hope took the two sets to none lead with the 25-16 win.
Neither team held more than a three point lead in the third set until the final points of the match. Determined to keep the match alive, the Belles continued to play point-for-point with Hope. With the score tied 15-15, Katie Hecklinski and Bonek each put down kills to put Saint Mary's ahead 17-15. Four points in a row by Hope, however, gave the Flying Dutch a lead they would not relinquish despite the Belles' best efforts. A kill by Bonek pulled the Belles within a point at 19-18, and a service error two points later made it 20-19. Hope took advantage of a pair of Saint Mary's hitting errors late and closed out the match with a kill for the 25-21 win.
Rachel Bonek posted a .357 attack percentage with six kills, and Meaghan Gibbons also tallied six kills. Clare McMillan picked up a double-double with 13 assists and 15 digs. Katie Hecklinski matched her teammate with 15 digs to share match-high honors. McKenzie Todd added 14 digs, and Alexis Grady registered 11 digs and nine assists.
The Belles (13-11, 6-7 MIAA) return home to host Olivet on Tuesday, October 27 for the team's annual Domestic Violence Awareness Match beginning at 7:00 p.m.