The Saint Mary’s volleyball team finished one win away from fourth place in the highly competitive MIAA a season ago while posting their second 15-win season in as many years. The Belles are motivated to build upon last season’s success and return to the MIAA Tournament while aiming to put together three consecutive 15-plus win seasons for the first time since 1987-89.
A group of four seniors aim to lead the way in 2016. Meaghan Gibbons ’17, Alexis Grady ’17, Clare McMillan ’17, and Colleen Kilgallon ’17. Gibbons and Grady each had breakout seasons last fall. Gibbons was a two-time all-tournament selection while finishing the year first in aces, second in kills, third in digs, and fifth in blocks on the team. Grady posted two triple-doubles while being a threat across the floor. McMillan kept pace with becoming one of the most accomplished setters to play for the Belles while surpassing 2,000 career assists during her junior season. Kilgallon was second on the squad in blocks while more than doubling her career kill and dig totals.
Leah Buck ’18 and Rachel Bonek ’18 each had an impact at the net a season ago. Buck led the team in blocks while Bonek was third. Both players surpassed 100 kills on the year while appearing in over 90 sets. They are part of ten returners who welcome three newcomers to the squad in 2016 as all 13 Belles aim to contribute to the team's success this fall.
The Belles open the season on Friday, September 1 at the Emory Classic in Atlanta, Georgia. The highly-competitive tournament will prepare the Belles for a season in which they are slated to play five AVCA Pre-Season Top 25 Teams (#4 Emory, #5 Calvin, #14 Wisconsin-Whitewater, #17 Hope, and #25 Wisconsin-Oshkosh) and one teams which received votes in that same poll (Birmingham Southern). The squad has their home opener on Friday, September 9 when they host Adrian at 7:00 p.m.