Belles Take Down Thunder
- Rachel Bonek led all players with 17 kills while also registering eight digs and five blocks.
- Fellow senior Leah Buck posted her 500th career kill with 12 kills to go along with four blocks.
- Audrey Shannon had a match-high 21 digs, and Morgan VanderWey tallied 41 assists.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team claimed a key 3-1 (25-16, 25-18, 19-25, 25-23) conference win over Trine on Saturday afternoon.
The Belles stormed out to a 7-0 lead against the Thunder in the opening set of play. Trine responded with a 5-0 run a short while later to pull within three points at 11-8. Saint Mary's continued to hold the lead with a kill by Marielle Corbett and a Trine hitting error. The Thunder put a quick three-point run up to make it a 14-12 score, but the Belles came right back with a 5-0 run of their own for a 19-12 lead. Saint Mary's closed out the set a little while later with a kill by Nicole Lukens, a solo block by Leah Buck, and a kill by Buck for the 25-16 win.
The two sides went back and forth to open the second set until Laura Keating came in to serve with Saint Mary's trailing 6-5. The freshman put 12 consecutive serves in play, and the Belles scored 12 consecutive points - started off by a kill by Rachel Bonek for the side out and capped off by a kill by Nicole Lukens - to go ahead 16-6. Trine edged within five points four times down the stretch, but the Belles' lead was insurmountable as Lukens and Buck put down consecutive kills to take the set 25-18.
Neither side established much wiggle room throughout the start of the third set as the lead traded hands three times while the score was tied on eight occasions. The Belles got a kill from Rachel Bonek to take a 13-12 lead. Trine, however, went on a timely 6-0 run to go ahead 18-13. Saint Mary's was unable to string more than two points together in the late moments of the set as Trine took the third stanza by a 25-19 margin.
Saint Mary's gained a 6-1 lead to open the fourth set. Trine made it a three-point lead at 8-5, 11-8, and 13-10 before cutting the Belles' advantage to two points at 13-11. Saint Mary's responded by extending the lead to eight points at 20-12 with a run which saw Lukens and Buck pick up kills and blocks for the Belles. The Thunder stormed back with an 8-2 run to make it a one-point score at 22-21. The Belles benefited from a Trine attack error, and Bonek and Alyssa Chong came up with a big double block to give Saint Mary's a 24-21 lead. Trine put the next two points on the scoreboard to stay alive, but Rachel Bonek put the match away with a kill for the 25-23 set win.
Rachel Bonek led all players with 17 kills while also registering eight digs and five blocks. Fellow senior Leah Buck posted her 500th career kill with 12 kills to go along with four blocks. Audrey Shannon had a match-high 21 digs, and Morgan VanderWey tallied 41 assists. Marielle Corbett picked up 13 digs with nine kills, and Nicole Lukens added 10 digs and eight kills.
The Belles (12-9, 8-6 MIAA) travel to Olivet on Tuesday, October 24 for a 7:00 p.m. match against the Comets.