Belles Ground Scarlet Hawks
- Leah Buck led the Belles with 11 kills and four blocks while posting a .529 attack percentage.
- Marielle Corbett added 10 kills, 15 digs, and two blocks.
- Morgan VanderWey had 39 assists, 12 digs, two aces, one block, and three kills on four attempts (.750 attack percentage).
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team swept their way past Illinois Tech on Tuesday night by 25-15, 26-24, 25-22 scores to ensure a happy Halloween for the Belles.
The Belles set the tone early against the Scarlet Hawks. Saint Mary's broke a 3-3 tie and built a 17-9 lead in the first stanza. That run was kicked off with a block by Morgan VanderWey and Leah Buck, two consecutive Leah Buck kills, and a kill by Marielle Corbett. With the lead sitting at 21-14, Alyssa Chong put down a kill and VanderWey served up an ace as Illinois Tech called their second timeout of the set to try to slow the Belles' momentum. An attack error by IIT was followed up two points later by a Rachel Bonek kill, and the Belles went up 1-0 overall with the 25-15 win in the first set. Saint Mary's hit a strong .316 (16 kills, four errors, 38 attempts) in the set while holding Illinois Tech to a .161 attack percentage (nine kills, four errors, 31 attempts).
Illinois Tech edged out to a 6-3 lead in the second set, but the Belles put themselves right back into the set a short while later. An attack error by the Scarlet Hawks tied the set at 10-10 before Marielle Corbett gave Saint Mary's an 11-10 lead with a kill. IIT put consecutive points on the scoreboard only to have Alyssa Chong send home her fifth kill on as many swings to tie the score at 12-12. An attack error, a Corbett kill, and a Bonek kill put the Belles up 15-12, but no lead was safe in the set. The Scarlet Hawks regrouped after a timeout pulled within a point at 16-15. Saint Mary's responded with three quick points, but the Belles could not distance themselves from the scrappy Scarlet Hawks. Illinois Tech kept close at 22-20 before tallying three consecutive points for a 23-22 lead. Chong responded with a big kill to knot the score at 23-23, but a kill by Illinois Tech put the Scarlet Hawks up set point. Rachel Bonek came through with a big kill, and Bonek and Chong teamed up for a block to turn the tide and give the Belles a 25-24 edge. An attack error by Illinois Tech gave Saint Mary's the second set win by a 26-24 score as the Belles continued to find a way.
With the third set tied at 7-7, Saint Mary's put eight of the next nine points on the scoreboard to build a 15-8 lead against Illinois Tech. The Scarlet Hawks edged within two points at 16-14, but Nicole Lukens and Leah Buck each picked up a kill and teamed up for a block to help the Belles go ahead 20-15. Morgan VanderWey put away an overpass for a kill as Saint Mary's continued to keep the lead late at 23-17. IIT used a four-point run to make it a two-point lead at 23-21. Chong put down a kill, and Corbett finished off the match two points later with a kill of her own as Saint Mary's took the sweep with a 25-22 win in the third set.
Leah Buck led the Belles with 11 kills and four blocks while posting a .529 attack percentage. Marielle Corbett added 10 kills, 15 digs, and two blocks. Alyssa Chong had eight kills and three blocks with a .467 attack percentage. Morgan VanderWey was a jack-of-all-trades for the Belles with 39 assists, 12 digs, two aces, one block, and three kills on four attempts (.750 attack percentage). Audrey Shannon tied for match-high honors with 16 digs.
The Belles (16-9) enter the MIAA Tournament as the number three seed and take on second-seeded Hope on Friday, November 3 at 5:00 p.m. at Calvin's Van Noord Arena.