2015 Season in Review
- Consecutive 15-win seasons for first time since 1998 - 1999.
- Four all-tournament honors.
- Katie Hecklinski earned First Team All-MIAA honors.
The Saint Mary’s volleyball team posted consecutive 15-win seasons for the first time since 1998 and 1999 by matching 2014’s win total of 15 in 2015. The Belles narrowly missed out on their second MIAA Tournament appearance in three years as the third through seventh places in the conference were separated by just three wins.
The season opened with a dominant 3-0 win at home against Manchester before the Belles kicked off day one of the Elmhurst Tournament with 3-0 victories over North Park and Lawrence. After taking No. 19 Elmhurst to the brink in a 3-2 match, Saint Mary’s bounced back to end the weekend tournament with a 3-2 win against Wheaton.
Through the first 15 games of the season, the Belles held on to an 11-4 record while senior outside hitter Katie Hecklinski surpassed 1,000 career kills in the team’s 10th victory of the year – a 3-2 nailbiter against Albion.
After squaring off against a stretch of tough competition to open October, Saint Mary’s earned a hard-fought 3-2 victory at home against Trine in the middle of the month prior to a 3-0 sweep of Olivet at the annual Domestic Violence Awareness match late in the month. The Belles capped off the season with a 3-0 sweep of Kenyon to reach the 15-win mark for the second year in a row.
Several members of the squad earned individual accolades throughout a successful season on the court.
- Meaghan Gibbons – Elmhurst Tournament
- Katie Hecklinski – Millikin Tournament
- Meaghan Gibbons – Millikin Tournament
- McKenzie Todd – Wheaton Tournament
MIAA Players of the Week:
- Katie Hecklinski
- McKenzie Todd
The team’s success was spurred by several role players on the squad. Hecklinski capped off her career with single-season bests in kills (367) and digs (384) while matching single-season high marks in aces (23) and blocks (17). Meaghan Gibbons complemented the outside attack with 240 kills and 250 digs. Alexis Grady had a breakout season with 174 kills, 193 digs, and 459 assists while tallying a pair of triple-doubles. McKenzie Todd picked up 409 digs as the go-to libero, Clare McMillan surpassed 2,000 assists for her career, and Colleen Kilgallon and Leah Buck provided a strong one-two punch in the middle attack with more than 280 combined kills and over 100 combined blocks.
At the end of the season, Katie Hecklinski was selected by the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association head coaches as a First Team All-MIAA honoree. She is the sixth Belle to have been named to an All-MIAA team multiple times in her career after having been a Second Team All-MIAA honoree in 2013.