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Monday, March 4, 2024
The Observer

Belles slip up in loss to Kalamazoo

This was not the way Saint Mary's wanted to start the second half of its conference season.

The Belles (10-9, 2-6 in MIAA) were unable to ever take control of their game Saturday on the road against Kalamazoo and ended up losing in three sets by a score of 16-30, 25-30, 20-30.

"We just didn't come out to play," Belles coach Julie Schroeder-Biek said. "It was a really tough match to watch."

The Belles hit an abysmal .014 in the match, and no player scored in the double digits for kills. Kalamazoo collected 45 kills to the Belles' 20.

"This game was probably more a matter of not taking care of the mental aspect," Schroeder-Biek said. "We had a lot of little mental breakdowns."

The Belles committed 18 errors in the match.

Freshmen Kristen Playko and Ann Carpenter continued their positive rookie seasons with seven kills and four kills, respectively. Defensively, Ann Cusack led with 20 digs, and Alison Shevik followed closely behind with 19.

Earlier in the season, the Belles defeated the Hornets at home in five sets, but in this game they were simply unable to mount a comeback against Kalamazoo after dropping the first game.

"I think that we get down easily, and it takes us a lot of energy to get back up again," Schroeder-Biek said. "It was just not a good game.

"We didn't talk as a team and didn't do any of the little things right that you have to do to win."

The Belles will have Monday off before facing conference opponent Calvin at home Tuesday. Schroeder-Biek says her team will make the most of their practice time before that game.

"There's a lot of things we can fix that we did wrong against Kalamazoo," she said. "When we don't communicate, we begin to splinter."