Answering the Belles

Photo contributed by Erik Schnarr

Thunder Roll in Home Opener

In a matchup against undefeated St.Mary’s (4-1, 0-1 MIAA), the Thunder (4-1, 1-0 MIAA) captured their first conference win in a quick three set (25-17, 25-18, 25-18) victory in Hershey Hall.

After giving up the first point in the first set, the Thunder tied and then built a five point lead. The Belles rallied to close the gap to one, 14-13 in the middle of the set. Two kills by Lauren Verkamp and Taylor Rabel helped spark a three point run to increase the lead to four and forced St.Mary’s to take a timeout. A service ace by Kati Schneider and a bad set on the last point of the set by the Belles ended the first set at 25-17.

The second set saw the Thunder take over from the very beginning, starting 4-0 before building a 7-2 highlighted by multiple kills from Betsy Irwin. Trine did not trail in the set in which they led comfortably throughout, finishing off the second set behind the back-to-back kills of Melanie Troyer.

Photo contributed by Erik Schnarr

In the final set, the Thunder were challenged early, with St.Marys opening a 2-0 lead, losing it and then tying the match at 7 all. However, that would be the breaking point for the Belles as Trine went on a four straight points behind the kills of Carly Searles and setups from Sarah Radekin. As the set went along, the lead continued to build, at one point reaching nine at 19-10 before the Thunder winning their third set to clinch the match victory.

Betsy Irwin tied for the team lead with 9 kills and had a team high 4 blocks. Sarah Radekin would chip in a game high 25 assists for the Thunder. Taylor Rabel had 9 kills and 8 digs, helping close the match with six kills in the final set.

The Thunder continue conference play with a match Friday night at home against Albion College beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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