Belles Fight Back to Beat Bulldogs, Fall to Saints
- McKenzie Todd had a career-high 17 kills while posting 18 digs and four aces against Adrian.
- Meaghan Gibbons led the Belles with 10 kills and a match-high 20 digs against Siena Heights.
- Alexis Grady had 74 assists on the day.
ADRIAN, Mich. - Down two sets to one and trailing 20-16 in the fourth set, the Saint Mary's volleyball team mounted an epic comeback to defeat host Adrian 3-2 (21-25, 25-19, 19-25, 25-23, 15-12) in a key MIAA match up on Saturday. The Belles then fell in a 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 25-20) contest against Siena Heights.
The Belles came back from an early deficit in the opening set and pulled within a point at 19-18 on back-to-back kills by Meaghan Gibbons and Rachel Bonek. The Bulldogs regained momentum after an attack error by Saint Mary's and a service ace made it a 21-18. The Belles cut the deficit to three points late but were unable to overtake the Bulldogs in a 25-21 first set.
Saint Mary's came out strong in the second set and established a 15-8 lead. The Bulldogs used a 3-0 run later in the stanza to make it a 19-16 score, but the Belles came right back with a 3-0 spurt of their own to regain a 22-16 lead. A kill by Bonek put Saint Mary's up set point at 24-18 before the Belles evened the match at one set apiece with a 25-19 win.
The Bulldogs opened up a 9-9 third set with an 18-11 lead. Saint Mary's continued to battle and cut the deficit to five points at 20-15. Adrian responded with a 3-0 run a few points late to go ahead 24-16. Colleen Kilgallon, Rachel Bonek, and Kaylin Szucs kept the Belles alive with two kills and an ace to make it 24-19, but the Bulldogs closed out the set with a kill for a 25-19 win and a 2-1 overall lead.
The two sides played point for point throughout the fourth set as the Belles continued to fight. A 4-0 run by Saint Mary's tied the score at 11-11 before Adrian pushed ahead 16-13. The Belles came right back to make it a 17-16 game. The Bulldogs regained some momentum with a quick 2-0 spurt for a 20-16 lead, but the Belles were unfazed in their focus. Saint Mary's took six points in-a-row to go up 22-20. Adrian responded with a three-point run to push the score to 23-22. The Belles responded right back and swayed the momentum in a huge way with kills by McKenzie Todd and Meaghan Gibbons before Todd closed out the fourth-set win with an ace to force a decisive fifth set.
Adrian won three of the first four points, but Saint Mary's regained the lead with a double block by Bonek and Kilgallon for a 5-4 advantage. Todd posted a kill to make it 6-4 in favor of the Belles, but the Bulldogs claimed four of the next five points for the 8-7 lead at the switch. Saint Mary's rattled off three consecutive points with another kill by Todd, an ace by Clare McMillan, and an Adrian attack error for a 10-8 advantage. A block by Todd and Leah Buck followed by another ace by Todd put Saint Mary's up 12-10, but an attack error by the Belles pushed the score to 12-11. Saint Mary's, however, got three consecutive kills by Meaghan Gibbons to close out the 15-12 fifth set and the 3-2 win.
McKenzie Todd had a career-high 17 kills while posting 18 digs and four aces. Meaghan Gibbons chipped in 16 kills and 15 digs. Rachel Bonek put down 13 kills for the Belles, and Kaylin Szucs led all players with 26 digs. Alexis Grady posted 46 assists and 13 digs. Clare McMillan added 14 digs in the win.
Against Siena Heights, the Belles broke a 9-9 tie and took a 16-10 lead with kills by Alexis Grady, Rachel Bonek, Meaghan Gibbons, and Colleen Kilgallon. A few points later with the Belles leading 18-13, the Saints went on a 6-0 run for a 19-18 lead. The teams traded points back and forth until the Belles capitalized on a ball handling error for a 23-22 lead late in the set. Siena Heights, however, put down two consecutive kills to go up 24-23 before taking the opening set on a Belles ball handling error.
Neither team had larger than a three-point lead in the second set as both teams saw the momentum sway back and forth. Saint Mary's had the last of those three-point leads after a 3-0 run put the Belles ahead 19-16. The Saints tied the score at 20-20, but the Belles regained the lead with a pair of Siena Heights errors for a 22-20 lead. Saint Mary's went ahead at 23-21 and 24-22, but an attack error followed by a Saints kill knotted the score at 24-24. A block put Siena Heights up set point at 25-24, but McKenzie Todd put down a kill to push the score to 25-25. The Saints closed out the set with a kill and a block for the 2-0 overall lead.
The Belles used a 7-1 run early in the third set to go up 12-10, but the Saints came right back with a 6-0 run for a 16-12 advantage. Saint Mary's cut the deficit to two points at 17-15, 18-16, 19-17, and 20-18, but Siena Heights took the momentum for good with a three-point spurt for a 23-18 lead. Leah Buck had two kills late for the Belles, but the Saints used a kill to claim the 25-20 third set and the 3-0 decision.
Meaghan Gibbons led the Belles with 10 kills and a match-high 20 digs. Leah Buck added nine kills, and Rachel Bonek put down eight kills. Colleen Kilgallon registered a .417 attack percentage with six kills and one error on 12 attempts. Kaylin Szucs had 17 digs, and Clare McMillan added 10 digs. Alexis Grady posted 28 assists in the match.
The Belles (10-11, 6-3 MIAA) return home to host top-ranked Calvin on Wednesday, October 12 at 7:00 p.m.