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Belles Sweep Eagles, Stopped by Host Thunder

Brittney Tarkanyi passes the volleyball.
WHEATON, Ill. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team (5-5) earned a 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-20) win over Benedictine before shouldering a 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-15) setback against host Wheaton on Friday night.
Against Benedictine, the Belles rallied from a 12-6 deficit in the first set to draw even with the Eagles at 15-15. Saint Mary's edged ahead and did not trail the remainder of the first set. The second stanza saw the Eagles pull ahead 18-17 before the Belles used a four-point spurt to gain the lead for good. An 8-1 run early in the third set gave Saint Mary's a lead they did not relinquish on the way to the sweep.
Nicole Lukens had 13 kills and 11 digs while Megan Collantes added 10 kills and 13 digs to help lead the Belles in the sweep against Benedictine. Brittney Tarkanyi posted a match-high 19 digs. Claire Hennessy notched 15 assists, and Morgan VanderWey tallied 14 assists and eight digs.
Against the host Thunder, the Belles played toe-to-toe against Wheaton for much of the first set. The Thunder, however, broke a 12-12 tie with an 8-2 run to gain the momentum in the set before taking the win. In the second frame, Saint Mary's battled back from a seven-point deficit at 12-5 and pulled within a point at 16-5. Wheaton put the next three points on the scoreboard, and the Belles were unable to pull within fewer than three points down the stretch. An 8-2 run early in the third set put Saint Mary's up 8-5, but a big run midway through the set gave the Thunder the lead for good as Wheaton took the three-set decision.
Lukens had nine kills and seven digs against a Wheaton side which has an 8-1 record on the year. Collantes posted eight kills and 11 digs. Tarkanyi repeated match-high honors with 17 digs, and VanderWey collected 14 assists.

The Belles (5-5) are back in action when they travel to DePauw next Saturday to face off against Muskingum and Hanover.