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Belles Bounce Bulldogs in Non-League Action

Hannah Stacy hits the volleyball with a defensive player directly in front of her in the foreground.

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team took a 3-1 (25-8, 25-19, 24-26, 26-24) win over Adrian on Friday night in a non-conference meeting between the two programs.

The Belles were dominant throughout the opening set of action. Saint Mary's stormed out to a 6-1 lead as the Bulldogs opted for their first timeout. A short while later, an Alyssa Chong kill followed by a Claire Hennessy ace and an Adrian attack error pushed the score to 10-4 as the Bulldogs used their second timeout of the stanza. The offense continued to flow throughout the entire first set for the Saint Mary's side as the Belles posted a .357 attack percentage with 12 kills and two errors on 28 attempts. Lindsey Pelletier closed out the set with an emphatic kill to give Saint Mary's the 25-8 win in the opener.

Saint Mary's rallied from an early deficit in the second set to take a 13-12 lead. With the Belles still leading at 18-17, Hannah Stacy put down a crucial kill to make it 19-17. A service error gave the point right back to the Bulldogs, but Laura Keating found a kill of her own to make it a 20-18 score. An attack error by Adrian followed by a kill by Chong pushed the lead to four points for Saint Mary's. Adrian got a point back on a kill, but Nicole Lukens and Pelletier had back-to-back kills to push the score to 24-19. A ball handling error against the Bulldogs on the next point gave the Belles the 25-19 win and the 2-0 overall lead in the match.

Adrian broke a 4-4 tie in the third set and took a 7-4 lead as the Bulldogs led throughout much of the stanza. Trailing by five points at both 17-12 and 20-15, however, Saint Mary's fought their way right back into the thick of things. Lukens and Chong each had a kill to make it 20-17. A short while later, a pair of Lukens kills book-ended an Adrian attack error as the Belles knotted the score at 21-21. After falling behind at 22-21 and 23-22, Saint Mary's registered consecutive points to take their first lead of the set since 4-3 at 24-23. Adrian, however, responded with three consecutive points of their own to take the 26-24 set win.

The fourth set saw Saint Mary's claim a 17-11 lead, but the Bulldogs stormed right back to make it 18-16. The Belles continued to find an answer each time Adrian tried to overtake the home side as Saint Mary's put down three consecutive kills for a 20-16 lead. The teams traded points back and forth, resulting in the Belles gaining a 24-19 advantage. Adrian made huge run to knot the score at 24-24, but Lukens put down a kill and the Bulldogs hit a ball just long as Saint Mary's prevailed 26-24.

Nicole Lukens led the Belles with 20 kills and 24 digs on the night. Hannah Stacy hit .458 with 12 kills and one error on 24 attempts while Lindsey Pelletier put down 12 kills of her own. Alyssa Chong tallied 11 kills with a .435 attack percentage, and Morgan VanderWey had 54 assists and seven digs. Audrey Shannon registered 23 digs on the night.

The Belles (10-10) return to conference competition on Saturday when they travel to Alma for a 3:00 p.m. league match.