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Belles hold first in MIAA

Steve Coyer | Thursday, April 15, 2004

Saint Mary’s will continue league play today against Kalamazoo after returning from a challenging weekend at the Midwest Invitational.The Belles placed 10th in the tournament that consisted of the top 12 teams in the Midwest. While fellow league opponent Albion finished fourth overall, Kalamazoo lost all three matches at the Invitational.In its first match, Saint Mary’s (14-6) was defeated 6-3 by DePauw but then recovered with a 5-4 victory over Kalamazoo. Carleton College recorded a 5-2 victory against the Belles in their third match.After a critical win last week in her match against Albion, Jeannie Knish struggled in the Invitational and lost all three matches bringing her singles record on the year to 6-12.Kristen Palombo continued her hot streak at No. 2 singles with three wins over the weekend. Palombo has won nine of her last ten matches and is 10-7 in singles play this season.Jeannie Knish and Kate Bowler had difficulty in the No. 1 doubles spot and lost all three of their matches. On the other hand, the No. 2 doubles team of Kris Spriggle and Kaitlin Cutler continued to dominate and won all their matches in the Invitational improving them to 15-2.But despite Saint Mary’s success this season, they almost didn’t make the Midwest Invitational.”At first we were not invited,” Spriggle said. “Calvin College got the invite. But they turned down the invite which let us in.”While Albion placed better than any other MIAA team in the Midwest Invitational, the Belles remain the only team with a 4-0 record in the league. Kalamazoo (10-11) has a 4-1 record in the league and is tied for second place with Albion.Last season Saint Mary’s only lost two games in the MIAA one of which was against Kalamazoo. Saint Mary’s will face Kalamazoo in a home match today at 3 p.m.