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Belles Fall to Second-Ranked Knights

Megan Collantes hits the ball with a defending player visible in the left side of the frame.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team came up shy in a 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-15) final against No. 2 ranked Calvin on Wednesday evening.
Saint Mary's took the opening point of the night and added a stretch of three out of four points to tie the match early at 4-4. Lindsey Pelletier and Megan Collantes each contributed kills in the back-and-forth play to start the contest. The host Knights, however, responded with an 8-1 run to build a 12-5 advantage. The Belles pulled within five points at both 13-8 and 14-9 with a pair of assisted blocks as Chloe Koehr, Alyssa Chong, Nola Wallace, and Pelletier all got in on the defensive stops at the net. Host Calvin countered with eight of the next ten points to mount a 22-11 lead before closing out the set with three consecutive points.
The second set saw the Belles battle back from an early 5-1 deficit to take a 6-5 and 7-6 lead. Wallace and Chong teamed up for another block, and Collantes and Wallace had kills for the Belles. The momentum swayed back in Calvin's favor with a four-point run, and the Knights extended their lead to five points at 15-10. Nicole Lukens put down a big kill before Wallace added a kill of her own to make it a 15-12 score, but Calvin went on a 6-0 run to built a 21-12 lead. The Belles battled to the end of the set and edged within six points three times, but the deficit was too large to overcome as the hosts took the stanza 25-18.
Saint Mary's claimed a 4-1 lead to start the third set, and a pair of service errors a short while later saw the Belles hold a 6-4 advantage. Another quick spurt by the Knights, however, put Calvin up 8-6. After some back-and-forth play, the hosts went up for good with a seven-point spurt for a 17-8 advantage. The Belles were unable to counter with a momentum-shifting run of their own, and the Knights claimed the sweep with a 25-15 third-set decision.
Megan Collantes led the Belles with 11 kills on the evening. Nola Wallace and Nicole Lukens each chipped in four kills. Wallace led the way with three block assists. Brittney Tarkanyi had a match-high 11 digs, and Morgan VanderWey posted 14 assists and seven digs. Claire Hennessy tallied 10 assists with four digs for the Belles.
The Belles (8-11, 1-4 MIAA) have a break from conference play as they travel to Illinois on Saturday to take on Nebraska Wesleyan and host North Central starting at 1:00 p.m. CDT.