Belles Battle Back But Fall in Five to Brits
- Rachel Bonek led all players with 18 kills while picking up 11 digs and serving three aces.
- Nicole Lukens registered 11 kills and 20 digs, and Morgan VanderWey collected 46 assists and 11 digs.
- Leah Buck and Marielle Corbett each put down 10 kills.
ALBION, Mich. - Trailing 2-0 on the road, the Saint Mary's volleyball team came back to win the third and fourth sets on Tuesday night before falling in the fifth set to Albion in an MIAA match, 3-2 (25-17, 25-22, 21-25, 25-27, 16-14).
The host Brits took a decisive 25-17 win in the first set before claiming the second set by a 25-22 margin as the Belles were fighting back from deficits in both stanzas. The momentum shifted in favor of Saint Mary's in the third set. With the score tied 8-8, the Belles took three consecutive points on a kill by Rachel Bonek, an ace by Bonek, and a ball handling error by the Brits. Albion pulled within two points at 11-9 and 14-12 before another three-point spurt by Saint Mary's gave the Belles a 17-12 advantage. The Brits laced together a late three-point run of their own to make it 23-19, but the Belles closed out the set a few moments later with a kill by Marielle Corbett for a 25-20 win.
The Belles broke open the third set with a 9-2 run to turn a 13-13 score into a 22-15 lead for Saint Mary's as Corbett, Bonek, and Lindsey Pelletier each registered kills. Albion did not go down in the set without a fight, however, as the Brits responded with a late run to tie the score at both 24-24 and 25-25. A kill by Leah Buck put the Belles up 26-25, and a bad set by the Brits gave Saint Mary's the 27-25 fourth set as the match moved to the fifth frame.
The fifth set was a back-and-forth battle until Albion gained a 13-9 lead. Saint Mary's won the next point to make it 13-10, but the Brits gained the match-point advantage on the next volley. The Belles fought to stay alive by winning the next point. Trailing 14-11, the Saint Mary's side made a highly impressive play to keep a potential match-winning block by the Brits off the floor before winning the point to make it 14-12. The momentum from that point lifted the Belles to the next two points as the score was knotted up at 14-14. The Brits, however, put down back-to-back kills to take the set and the match with a 16-14 score.
As a team, the Belles hit .385 (11 kills, 1 error, 26 attempts) in the third set and .300 (17 kills, 2 errors, 50 attempts) in the fourth set.
Rachel Bonek led all players with 18 kills while picking up 11 digs and serving three aces. Nicole Lukens registered 11 kills and 20 digs, and Morgan VanderWey collected 46 assists and 11 digs. Leah Buck and Marielle Corbett each put down 10 kills. Audrey Shannon was tied for match-high honors with 28 digs.
The Belles (5-6, 2-3 MIAA) are back on the road on Friday when they travel to in-state MIAA rival Trine for a 7:00 p.m. match.