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Monday, May 27, 2024
The Observer

Belles swept by rival Calvin

Saint Mary’s faced its toughest challenge of the season Tuesday, when it fell to No. 4 Calvin College, the defending national champion, 3-0, at Angela Athletic Facility.

The first set featured the Knights (12-2, 4-0 MIAA) taking advantage of early four-point runs to establish a 13-8 lead. When the score was increased to 19-14, the Belles (3-6, 2-3) begin to make a comeback to narrow the score to 22-20. Calvin would commit two errors to tie the score up later at 23, and senior libero Samantha Grady added an ace to break the tie and give Saint Mary’s a late 24-23 lead. However, Calvin racked up three straight points to take the first set, 26-24.

The second set featured an explosive start by the Knights. Calvin would take an early 11-0 lead and looked to put the set away quickly. However, from that point, the Belles would outscore Calvin 19-14 to narrow the score to 21-16. Saint Mary’s would again come close when a late three-point run cut the lead down to 22-19, but the Knights hung on for the 25-19 set victory.

In the third and final set, Saint Mary's took an early 3-1 lead, but Calvin came back on a 14-2 to put the score at 15-5. The Belles were not able to go any runs for the rest of the set, picking up single points between Knights' multi-point runs. That pace allowed Calvin to claim the third set and the match victory, 12-25.

Calvin senior right side Stacey Kamp posted a match-high 13 kills. Knights freshman setter Jenna Lodewyk contributed 31 assists, and senior libero Emily Biesboer dug out 12 balls, both tops for Tuesday's contest.

The Belles’ next opponent is conference rival Kalamazoo. The Hornets (6-4, 1-3 MIAA) are coming off a split at the Wooster Kilt Classic on Saturday, defeating Bluffton but being swept by host Wooster. Hornets sophomore libero Logan Horejsi was named to the all-tournament team after a weekend in which she compiled 49 digs during two matches.

Elsewhere, the Belles will have to look out for senior setter Alex Gothard, who registered 63 assists over the weekend, including 39 in the victory over Bluffton. This marks only the second conference match away from home that the Hornets have played, after dropping a 3-0 game to Olivet on Sept. 2. The Belles look to break their two-game losing streak against Kalamazoo on their final match of this five-contest homestand, before they travel to Adrian on Sept. 24.

The Belles resume action on Friday at home against Kalamazoo at 7 p.m.