Belles Outlast Thunder in Five Sets
- Katie Hecklinski had a career-high 25 kills.
- Hecklinski, Meaghan Gibbons, Alexis Grady, and Clare McMillan all posted double-doubles.
- McKenzie Todd led the Belles with 23 digs.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Katie Hecklinski put down a career-high 25 kills and the Saint Mary's volleyball team came back to defeat MIAA rival Trine, 3-2 (25-22, 21-25, 24-26, 25-19, 15-9) on Saturday.
The Belles rebounded from a 19-16 deficit in the first set to tie the score at 19-19. A pair of quick scoring spurts quickly made it 24-21 as the Thunder called a timeout to try to keep the set alive. A service error by the Belles prolonged the set shortly, but Katie Hecklinski put down a kill for the 25-22 win.
In the second set, Saint Mary's again came back from an early deficit. Trailing 14-7, the Belles rattled off eight consecutive points to pull ahead 15-14. Two points later, Trine got a kill to start a five-point spurt to regain a 20-16 advantage. That run proved to be the decisive point swing in the set as the Belles could get no closer than two points down the stretch in the 25-21 final.
In a set which had 17 ties and nine lead changes, the Belles broke a 23-23 tie in the third set with a kill by Colleen Kilgallon to go ahead 24-23. Three miscues late by Saint Mary's, however, were the difference as the Thunder took a 2-1 overall lead in the match with a 26-24 third set.
Conversely, the fourth set had just two ties and one lead change. That lead change came as early as possible in the set with the Belles going ahead 2-1 after a 1-1 tie. That one-point lead was mirrored a handful of times until Saint Mary's made it 15-10 on an ace by Meaghan Gibbons. From there, the Belles held at least a three-point cushion en route to the 25-19 set win.
The fifth set saw the Belles storm out to a 7-0 lead - including three aces by Gibbons - to set the tone from the start. Trine got within two points at 10-8, but the Belles had too much too late for the Thunder to handle after Hecklinski added two more aces late.
Hecklinski led all players with 25 kills while adding 12 digs for the double-double. Meaghan Gibbons tallied 11 kills and 20 digs, Alexis Grady registered 26 assists and 13 digs, and Clare McMillan added 25 assists and 12 digs to all join Hecklinski with double-doubles. McKenzie Todd led the Saint Mary's side with 23 digs. As a team, the Belles wrung up 12 aces against the Thunder as Gibbons accounted for five aces to lead the way.
The Belles (12-9, 5-5 MIAA) travel to Adrian for a 7:00 p.m. match against the Bulldogs on Wednesday, October 14.