Belles Stopped by Flying Dutch in MIAA Tournament Semifinal
- Rachel Bonek led the Belles with 12 kills on the night.
- Morgan VanderWey posted a double-double with 36 assists and 12 digs.
- Audrey Shannon led the team with 18 digs.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team had their season come to a close in a 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-22) final against Hope in the MIAA Tournament.
The Belles won a marathon point with strong defense and a kill by Rachel Bonek to open up the match. Saint Mary's gained the early edge with a 4-1 lead after a pair of Hope errors and another kill by Bonek. Leah Buck regained the lead for Saint Mary's a short while with a kill for a 5-4 advantage, but the Flying Dutch used an 8-1 run to shift the momentum while going ahead 12-6. Another run by Hope made it a 19-9 score. Saint Mary's continued to battle and put together a late run of their own to make it 24-20. A kill by the Flying Dutch, however, lifted Hope to the first set win by a 25-20 margin.
With the second set tied at 10-10, the Belles used a four-point run to go up 14-10. Bonek, Nicole Lukens, and Alyssa Chong all had kills during that run, and the momentum began to build for Saint Mary's. Hope put the next two points on the scoreboard, but the Belles came right back with kills by Bonek and Lukens while benefiting from a Hope hitting error for a 17-12 lead. An attack error a short while later made it an 18-14 score in favor of Saint Mary's. Back-to-back kills by Hope made it a 18-16 score as the Belles called a timeout. Saint Mary's continued to hold a lead over the Flying Dutch at 21-18, but Hope pulled back the momentum with a 4-0 run. The Belles responded by tying the score at both 22-22 and 23-23, but a kill and an ace by Hope gave the Flying Dutch the second set with a 25-23 score.
The third set was tightly played throughout as neither side had more than a three-point lead through the first 37 points played. After eight ties and four lead changes, Hope took the largest lead of the set at 21-17. Rachel Bonek and Nicole Lukens put down back-to-back kills to make it 21-19. Hope called a timeout and won the next point, but it was Leah Buck's turn to find the big point with a kill to keep the Belles alive at 22-20. Hope took the next two points to go ahead match-point at 24-20. Undeterred, Corbett put down back-to-back kills as the Belles continued to fight late in the set. Hope, however, closed out the set and the match with a kill for the 25-22 win.
Rachel Bonek led the Belles with 12 kills on the night. Nicole Lukens added nine kills. Alyssa Chong and Marielle Corbett each put down seven kills. Corbett chipped in 16 digs while Morgan VanderWey posted a double-double with 36 assists and 12 digs. Audrey Shannon led the team with 18 digs.
The Belles end the season 16-10 while making their second consecutive MIAA Tournament semifinal appearance.