Belles Ground Thunder for First Conference Win
- Alexis Grady had a career-high 15 kills along with 12 digs and three aces.
- Katie Hecklinski added 14 kills and 11 digs.
- McKenzie Todd led the team with 17 digs.
ANGOLA, Ind. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team earned their first conference win of the season with a 3-1 (25-13, 25-22, 20-25, 25-20) win over in-state MIAA rival Trine on Friday night.
The Belles were close to unstoppable in the opening set as Saint Mary's pounded down 15 kills on 26 attempts with no errors for a blistering .577 attack percentage. With the score standing at 10-9 in favor of the Belles, Saint Mary's won back-to-back points to make it 12-9. A kill by the Thunder four points later made it 14-11, but the Belles came right back with a decisive five-point run to make it a 19-11 contest. Saint Mary's then closed out the opening set with a five-point run for the 25-13 decision.
Saint Mary's got out to a 5-1 lead in the second set only to see Trine edge their way back into the contest. The Thunder broke a 10-10 tie with three straight points for a 13-10 lead, but that advantage proved to be their largest of the set and short-lived as the Belles tied things up at 13-13. With the score knotted up at 17-17, Saint Mary's was able to take the momentum and the lead - a lead which they would not give up. Trine got within a point at 19-18, but a pair of attack errors by the Thunder gave the Belles the cushion they needed late as Saint Mary's claimed the set 25-22.
The third set saw the Belles drop behind by their largest deficit of the match at 13-6. Saint Mary's pulled within three points of Trine at 18-15, but the Thunder responded with a five-point run to go up 23-15 before taking the third set 25-20.
In the fourth set, the Belles were able to respond to a single Trine point with two of their own a handful of times midway through the frame to gain a 17-12 lead. The Thunder made it a three-point set at both 19-16 and 20-17, but the Belles' offense was too much down the stretch at Saint Mary's claimed the win with a 25-20 victory.
Alexis Grady led all players with a career-high 15 kills to go along with 12 digs and three service aces. Katie Hecklinski added 14 kills and 11 digs to help pace the Belles. McKenzie Todd had a team-best 17 digs, and Clare McMillan had 37 assists.
The Belles (5-2, 1-1 MIAA) turn right around and host Adrian for a noon MIAA match tomorrow at Angela Athletic Facility.