Belles Power Past Thunder
- The Belles had 62 kills to Trine's 38 on the night.
- Meaghan Gibbons and Rachel Bonek each put down 14 kills, Colleen Kilgallon tallied 13 kills, and McKenzie Todd notched 10 kills.
- Alexis Grady had a career-high 57 assists.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team closed out the first round of conference competition with a 3-1 (25-12, 25-15, 23-25, 25-16) victory over in-state rival Trine on Tuesday night.
The Belles blew open the lid on the opening set with a 6-0 run early on before claiming a 15-7 lead midway through the stanza. Another run a few points later saw Saint Mary's extend the advantage to 19-8 as Colleen Kilgallon and Meaghan Gibbons had a hand in four consecutive points. An ace by Kaylin Szucs followed by a block by McKenzie Todd and Leah Buck put Saint Mary's up set point at 24-11. Rachel Bonek closed out the set with a kill for the 25-12 win.
The second set saw Saint Mary's hit a blistering .424 with 18 kills and four errors on 33 attempts. The Belles never trailed and led by as many as nine points (18-9). Kilgallon was perfect in her hitting with six kills on six attempts. Bonek was not far behind with four kills on six attempts for a .667 attack percentage in the set. Saint Mary's had 18 kills in the second set to Trine's seven as the Belles claimed a 25-15 win to lead two sets to none.
Trine was far from defeated going into the third set as the Thunder established a 6-2 lead early. The Belles chipped away at the deficit and drew even with Trine at 16-16 and 17-17 before taking their first lead of the set at 18-17. After a Trine timeout, the Thunder came out and won three consecutive points to regain a lead they would not relinquish. Trine went up set point at 24-21, but the Belles continued to battle as Kilgallon registered another kill and Saint Mary's benefited from an attack error to make it 24-23. The Thunder, however, closed out the win with a kill to send the match for a fourth set.
The Thunder once again claimed an early lead, but a 6-0 run by Saint Mary's turned an 11-9 Trine lead into a 15-11 Saint Mary's lead as the momentum swayed and stayed in the Belles' favor. The Thunder cut the deficit to a point at 16-15. The Belles, however, responded with a big 7-0 run for a 23-15 advantage. Leah Buck and Meaghan Gibbons put down consecutive kills just a few moments later to give Saint Mary's the 25-16 set win and the 3-1 victory.
Four players had double-digit kills for Saint Mary's as the Belles had 62 kills to Trine's 38 on the night. Meaghan Gibbons and Rachel Bonek each put down 14 kills, Colleen Kilgallon tallied 13 kills, and McKenzie Todd notched 10 kills. Gibbons and Todd each had a double-double after putting up 12 and 11 digs, respectively. Bonek, meanwhile, had a .500 attack percentage on the night.
Alexis Grady had a career-high 57 assists. Kaylin Szucs led all players with 26 digs. Kilgallon had a match-high four block assists, and Gibbons recorded four service aces to help lift the Belles to their third-consecutive conference win.
The Belles (9-10, 5-3 MIAA) begin the second round of conference play on Saturday when they travel to Adrian to face off against the Bulldogs at 1:00 p.m. before competing in a non-league contest against Siena Heights at 3:00 p.m.