ALMA, Mich. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team fell in a conference match at Alma by a 3-0 (25-15, 25-12, 26-24) final score on Saturday afternoon.
The host Scots used a 7-0 spurt to start a 15-3 run as Alma built a 15-7 lead midway through the opening set. Alma extended that advantage to 21-10 a short while later with four consecutive points as the Belles called their second timeout of the set. Saint Mary's made a strong push late in the stanza. Alma had a service error, and Laura Keating put down back-to-back kills. An Alma attack error then made it 22-15 as the Scots called a timeout to try to stop the Belles' momentum. The hosts then came out of that break and rattled off three consecutive points for the 25-15 win in the first set.
The Belles had a difficult time getting the offense to have success in the second set as Saint Mary's had seven kills and seven errors on 41 attempts in the stanza. Nicole Lukens and Nola Wallace each had two kills in the set. The Scots were able to score points in spurts from throughout the set while Saint Mary's was limited to three separate instances of scoring back-to-back points in the set as Alma led from start to finish en route to the 25-12 win.
Saint Mary's showed their resilience in the third set as the Belles continued to fight. Trailing 6-3, the Belles put a stop to any big runs early for the Scots in the stanza as Saint Mary's came right back to tie the score at 7-7. Alma broke an 8-8 tie with consecutive points for a 10-8 lead, but the Belles responded with a 7-2 run to gain a 15-12 edge. Kills by Nicole Lukens and Lindsey Pelletier a short while later made it a four-point lead for Saint Mary's at 17-13. Alma put three points on the scoreboard to cut the deficit to 17-16, and the two sides traded points back and forth to push the score to 20-19 in favor of the Belles. Alyssa Chong put down a kill, and Lukens and Pelletier teamed up for a block to put Saint Mary's ahead 24-22. Alma, however, found back-to-back kills to tie the score before closing out the set and the match with an ace and a block for the 26-24 final.
Lindsey Pelletier led the Belles with nine kills, and Nicole Lukens tallied eight kills and eight digs. Morgan VanderWey collected 27 assists and 10 digs on the day. Audrey Shannon had a match-high 27 digs, and Brittney Tarkanyi picked up 13 digs.
The Belles (10-11, 1-3 MIAA) return home to host Calvin on Wednesday, October 10 at 7:00 p.m.