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Belles Sweep Hornets

Megan Collantes is in the air and hits the ball while teammates and spectators are all visible in the photo.
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team powered their way to a 3-0 (25-23, 25-11, 25-16) win over Kalamazoo in conference action on Wednesday night.
In a tight first set, the Belles battled back from an early 4-1 deficit to gain a 12-8 edge as the Hornets called for a timeout. During that 11-4 run, Megan Collantes, Lindsey Pelletier, and Nola Wallce all tallied kills while Morgan VanderWey capped off the run with an ace. The two sides jockeyed for position over the next stretch of play. Kalamazoo used a surge to take a 16-14 lead, but the Belles tallied back-to-back points to knot the score at 16-16. Saint Mary's then went ahead 21-19 only to see the Hornets return the favor and tie things up at 21-21. Back-to-back attack errors by Kalamazoo gave Saint Mary's a 23-21 edge. Nicole Lukens then put the Belles up set-point moments later, and Megan Collantes closed out the set with a kill for a 25-23 win for Saint Mary's.
The Belles opened the second stanza with the first four points for the early lead. The Hornets made it a 4-3 score with a Saint Mary's miscue and a kill, but the Belles never conceded the lead against Kalamazoo in the set. Up 7-5 just a few points later, Saint Mary's began to pull away with a 6-1 run to gain a 13-6 lead. Two rotations later, Allison Thornton came in and served seven times as the Belles established a 22-8 lead to take over the momentum completely on the way to the 25-11 win in the set.
That momentum carried over in full force in the third set as Saint Mary's took the first three points en route to a 9-2 lead. The Belles led by at least six points for the remainder of the set on the way to the sweep with the 25-16 third-set win. Nicole Lukens, Nola Wallace, and Lindsey Pelletier contributed at least four kills apiece while not committing any attack errors in the set to keep the offense firing for the Belles down the stretch.
Megan Collantes led all players with 15 kills with a .375 attack percentage and added 13 digs for a double-double. Nicole Lukens tallied 12 kills and 16 digs with three block assists. Nola Wallace put down eight kills on a .500 attack effort while registering three solo blocks and two block assists. Lindsey Pelletier chipped in six kills and two block assists. Morgan VanderWey collected 37 assists, and Brittney Tarkanyi led all players with 22 digs.
The Belles (12-15, 2-5 MIAA) return home to face off against Trine on Friday at 7:00 p.m. with a berth to the MIAA Tournament on the line. Senior Nicole Lukens will be recognized for Senior Night after the conclusion of the match.