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Belles Bounce Bulldogs for First MIAA Win of Season

Courtney Pelletier passes the volleyball as three other players are visible nearby.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team claimed a 3-1 (25-15, 14-25, 25-19, 25-17) win over Adrian on Wednesday night for the Belles' first conference win of the season.
The Belles jumped out to a 9-3 start in the first set and never trailed in the stanza. The Bulldogs pulled within four points at 10-6 and 11-7, but Alyssa Chong put down a kill and an Adrian service error ensured the lead stayed safe. The two sides went back-and-forth before Adrian edged within five points at 15-10, but Saint Mary's responded with a 5-2 run for a 20-12 lead. Leading 20-15, the Belles closed out the set with five consecutive points. Chong put down a kill, Sam Vorderer added a kill, and Nicole Lukens had a pair of kills en route to the 25-15 first-set win.
After a pair of early ties in the second frame, Adrian gained the upper hand with a 15-4 run to turn a 4-4 game into an 19-8 lead. Saint Mary's came out of a timeout to put five consecutive points on the scoreboard with Lukens, Megan Collantes, and Hannah Stacy each tallying a kill. The Bulldogs, however, countered with a 5-0 run of their own for a 24-13 lead before taking the set with a 25-14 score.
Adrian turned a 10-5 deficit into an 11-10 lead in the third set, but Alyssa Chong notched a kill and Morgan VanderWey and Lindsey Pelletier put down a big block on the outside to make it a 12-11 Saint Mary's lead. The Bulldogs pulled even with a kill at 12-12. Pelletier pounded down a kill of her own, and an attack error, a service ace by VanderWey, and a Lukens kill gave the Belles a 16-12 advantage. Adrian made it a one-point score at 17-16, but Hannah Stacy had a well-placed kill to keep the Belles ahead. A quick three-point spurt a short while later gave Saint Mary's a 22-17 lead as the Bulldogs called a timeout. Saint Mary's, however, continued to find a way as Lukens closed out the set with a kill for a 25-19 win.
The Bulldogs took an early 6-1 lead in the fourth set. The Belles, meanwhile, used a big 14-3 run not only to take a 15-9 lead but to also take all of the momentum away from Adrian in the stanza. The visitors cut within five points twice, but Saint Mary's was too much down the stretch. Four different players for the Belles had three kills in the fourth set alone, and Saint Mary's put up 33 digs in the set to Adrian's 18. Courtney Pelletier picked up eight digs in the final set alone as the Belles closed out the match with a decisive 25-17 win in the set.
Nicole Lukens led the Belles with 15 kills and added 16 digs and two service aces. Megan Collantes posted 11 kills and a match-high 21 digs. Hannah Stacy chipped in nine kills, and Lindsey Pelletier put down eight kills as all four Belles had hitting percentages above .200 on the night. Morgan VanderWey collected a double-double with 41 assists and 17 digs. Courtney Pelletier had a season-high 20 digs.
The Belles (7-8, 1-1 MIAA) host Kalamazoo on Friday at 7:00 p.m. in a non-conference match at Angela Athletic & Wellness Complex.